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JGR Development Driver Cody Coughlin Turns Heads at Berlin

If you were not at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan on Saturday night, you missed an impressive performance. Track announcers hailed the run of 19 year-old Cody Coughlin as he marched from a 23rd starting spot and into contention for victory at the closing stages of the Berlin 125 for the ARCA / CRA Super Series.

The Joe Gibbs Development driver proved that you can overcome adversity throughout the day. Berlin had been a sore-spot to Coughlin in the few times he has raced their in his young career. After qualifying it did not get any better for Team JEGS. Coughlin timed in eighth quick, but crew chief Nick Easton pulled the car out of the impounded area to help improve the car for the main event. By doing so, Coughlin was relegated to start at the rear of the field.

Methodically Coughlin picked his way through the field and under the direction of spotter Scott Wimmer, Coughlin moved his way into the top 15 by lap 21, then top 10 on lap 33 and eventually the top five. Coughlin did not settle; he was pushing for third when another driver snuck by him in the battle and the Delaware, Ohio native wound up fifth as the checkered flag fell.

“I will tell you, I haven’t been this happy about a fifth place finish in a long time,” exclaimed Coughlin after the race. “We really have struggled here at Berlin over the past few years and didn’t finish in the top 20. We didn’t qualify well and pulled it out of the impound area to work on it and got it better. I am very pleased with our run.”

“We had a good car tonight and I think things went our way after the bad luck we had earlier in the day,” added Coughlin. “I really have to thank God for that. Also, I have to thank God for a safe race tonight. He really blessed us with a strong finish here at Berlin.”

Along with the crew, Cody celebrated his strong run with his parents, John & Di, and his sister Kennedi.

“It was great to have them there tonight and I know they were happy with how we came through the field,” Coughlin said. “It was also awesome to have other drivers, crew members and fans come up and congratulate us afterwards on our strong run. That really capped off our fun night.”

Coughlin will now head to New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey this weekend for his first attempt at road course racing with the ARCA Racing Series on Sunday, May 24 at 1:30pm ET.

For more information on Cody Coughlin and Team JEGS, visit www.teamjegs.com and follow Cody on Twitter, @cody_coughlin. You can also follow Team JEGS on Twitter, @TeamJEGS and “Like” JEGS Performance on Facebook.

Kyle Busch Receives Medical Clearance to Resume Racing

Driver of No. 18 Toyota Returns for Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch has received medical clearance to return to on-track activity beginning with Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the No. 18 M&Ms Red Nose Toyota.

Busch was injured during an accident in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway on February 21 causing him to miss the first 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the season.

JGR Driver Cody Coughlin Scores First ARCA Pole & Best Finish at Dega

Cody Coughlin is so close to his first victory in the ARCA Racing Series that he can taste it. The 19-year-old made people stand up and take notice in his maiden voyage to Talladega Superspeedway Saturday in Alabama. He scored the pole award, led a several laps and finished second in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 at the famed 2.66-mile oval.

The runner-up effort was Coughlin’s best ARCA performance to date. In fact, the Joe Gibbs Racing Development driver now has four-straight top-five finishes in series competition.

Coughlin led he race on three different occasions and was running third when a caution flew right before the white flag was presented. That resulted in a one-lap shootout to the finish.

On the restart, Tom Hessert ran out of fuel while leading and right in front of Coughlin. The Delaware, Ohio native was forced to check up, but coming to the checker, Coughlin was involved in a three-wide fight for second. He just inched his Sport Clips Toyota Camry in front of the challengers for the runner-up spot.

“A green-white-checkered is hectic enough, especially here, but then when we have just one lap, it’s really hectic,”said Coughlin after the race. “We tried to go out there and push as hard as we could to get the best finish for the 55. That’s what we did and we came home with second.

“There was some hope that a win was in the making, but it didn’t line up that way due to what happened on the restart. We couldn’t control that, but we did the best that we could and I’m proud of our second place effort.”

Coughlin also started the day by winning his first career pole in ARCA competition with a speed of 187.883 mph. That feat put a Venturini Motorsports car on the pole at Talladega since 2013.

The second place finish ends his streak of fourth place finishes in his last three ARCA Racing Series events that came at Kentucky Speedway, Kansas Speedway at the end of last season and Daytona International Speedway earlier this season.

Coughlin, his crew chief Dave Leiner and the Venturini Motorsports team continue to improve each time they hit the track, and the teen is grateful for the preparation they put into each event.

“We are definitely knocking on the door to get that win. We as a team get better every week,”added Coughlin. “I’m really excited to get to some of the mile-and-a-half tracks where you don’t have to rely on other competitors in the draft to run well. We have what it takes and that win is coming soon.

He is also grateful to the Team JEGS crew that was there to assist him, including Kevin Hamlin (Team JEGS Manager), Scott Wimmer (Spotter) and Dave Holt (crewmember).

Along with the support his race teams, he is proud of the loving support that he receives from his family that includes his parents, John & Di, and his sister Kennedi.

“Today would not be possible without the support of everyone on the race team and my family,”Coughlin expressed. “Kennedi and my mom couldn’t be here today because Kennedi was performing in a play, but I always feel their support. And my dad was my biggest cheerleader today for sure at the track.

“I also have to thank God for protecting us out there today. Talladega Superspeedway is a fast track and things can happen in a hurry. I am grateful for his blessing over all of us today.”

Cody’s next race will be his first road course race on Sunday, May 24th at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey.

For more information on Cody Coughlin and Team JEGS, visit www.teamjegs.com and follow Cody on Twitter, @cody_coughlin. You can also follow Team JEGS on Twitter, @TeamJEGS and “Like” JEGS Performance on Facebook.

Erik Jones to Pilot the No. 18 M&M’S® Toyota Camry Starting at Kansas Speedway

18-Year-Old Byron, Michigan Native to Make First NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Start

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today that Erik Jones will fill in for Kyle Busch in the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starting at Kansas Speedway on May 9, 2015. This will mark the 18-year-old Byron, Michigan native’s first official NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.

“I’m pretty excited and grateful for the opportunity to drive the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series and make my debut for Joe Gibbs Racing. This is a really good opportunity for me. We are going to try to manage our expectations and if we can go out and get a top-15 run and gain some experience, that would be a great day for us. I’m also excited about representing M&M’S, a great longtime partner at JGR and such a well-known brand. I am looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the M&M’S Toyota at Kansas.”
At Kansas, Jones will be running a special paint scheme highlighting M&M’S support of Red Nose Day on the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota.

Mars is proud to be a partner of Red Nose Day, a major charitable event that will be held on May 21, 2015. The M&M’S Brand is one of the world’s most beloved chocolate candies and a leader in colorful fun, so it’s a natural fit to leverage the M&M’S brand and humor to help raise money through this partnership. M&M’S is bringing Red Nose Day to NASCAR for the first time at Kansas and May 15 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Jones currently runs full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) for Kyle Busch Motorsports and a partial schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS).

With three races complete in the 2015 NCWTS season, Jones sits third in the point standings, six points out of the lead on the heels of two top-five and three top-10 finishes to start the season. In just 20-career starts in the series, Jones has earned four wins.

Continuing to impress, Jones has made his mark in the XFINITY Series, making eight starts this season between the No. 20 and No. 54 Camry’s. In those starts, Jones has garnered one win, three poles and five top-five finishes.

Kansas will mark Jones first official Cup Series start, but earlier this season he was able to make laps in the No. 11 Toyota Camry at Bristol Motor Speedway after Denny Hamlin was unable to continue the race following an extended rain delay. Jones finished the race in the 26th position.

Mac Tools Wrenching for a Cure

Mac Tools has made donations of more than $30,000 to The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and over $4,000 to The Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Mac Tools would like to thank their Franchisees and Customers for their purchases of our Wrenching for a Cure products in 2014 to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research.

The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research is devoted to advancing research in breast cancer and 100 percent of every gift to the fund goes directly to research at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. The Breast Cancer Society of Canada is committed to progressing breast cancer research in Canada and proudly funds high-caliber research teams that are located near patient treatment clinics.

“We are so very appreciative for the partnership between The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research and Mac Tools. Their support helps to fund the level of life-saving research being performed at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Partners like Mac Tools help us reach new audiences, garnering support and appreciation on the importance of breast cancer awareness and screenings.” – Kim Collins, Director, Community Partners Program. “It gives me great pride to present donations to both of these foundations on behalf of our Mac Tools Franchisees, customers, and employees” said Brett Shaw, President of Mac Tools, “and we look forward to offering our continued support in the future.”

For over four years Mac Tools has been a proud partner of the Stefanie Spielman Fund and the Breast Cancer Society of Canada. Our Wrenching for a Cure products have become great collectors’ items for our Mac Tools customers and community and we are proud to help a greater cause.