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Glad That's Over, Dover

Kyle Busch led Joe Gibbs Racing with a fourth-place finish in today’s FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway, while Denny Hamlin finished 16th and an early spin relegated Joey Logano to 27th place.

The track known as the “Monster Mile” was certainly hard to tame today with heavy rain overnight and early in the morning taking the rubber off the concrete oval and a mix of sun and clouds adding to the challenges for teams trying to dial in the proper balance and handle on their cars.

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With qualifying rained out on Saturday, Busch’s practice time would have given the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota the seventh starting position for the green flag to start today’s race, but an engine change on Friday would force him to the back of the field. The setback hardly appeared to deter Busch and his M&Ms crew however as he began his drive toward the front of the field. An early two-tire call allowed Busch to leap inside the top 20 and amazingly the M&Ms Camry would take over the 12th position by lap 131. Busch would enter the top ten just before the midpoint of the race and spend most of the second half of the race in that position. He would climb into the top five late in the race with a great pit stop and excellent restart. When it was over Busch had earned a solid fourth-place finish despite having to overcome the last-place start.

Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Ground/Autism Speaks Toyota in the 25th position and battled changing handling conditions throughout the race. Hamlin would race his way into the top 20 early, but wasn’t able to continue the climb as he sat outside the top 10 for most of the race. Unfortunately despite several attempts from his FedEx crew to improve the handle on his FedEx Ground Camry, Hamlin just couldn’t find the balance he needed on the very slippery concrete oval in Dover. He would have to settle for a 16th-place finish.

Joey Logano started the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota in the fourth position today at Dover and was hopeful for a solid top-five finish with an opportunity to compete for victory, especially following an impressive third-place finish in last year’s fall race at the “Monster Mile.” Unfortunately, the Monster would take a bite out of his Home Depot Camry early when he brought out the first caution of the day with a spin on lap 20. What made the accident even more unfortunate is that Logano appeared to have a strong car through the early going as he drove into fourth place through the early laps. But damage to the right front fender from the spin would force him to pit road for repairs and leave him a lap off the pace. Logano would later lose another lap to the field during a long green flag run as the damage adjusted the handle on the car and the splitter was making contact with the track. Logano and the Home Depot team fought throughout the day to make the car as good as it could be despite the early setback, but unfortunately they were never able to make up the lost ground and were forced to settle for a disappointing 27th-place finish.

Matt Kenseth captured the victory, while Mark Martin finished second, Marcos Ambrose was third, Busch was fourth and Brian Vickers rounded out the top five. There were six cautions for a total of 28 laps and 23 lead changes among 11 different drivers over the course of the 400-lap race.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series comes to Charlotte next weekend with the annual All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The All-Star Race, which is a non-points race, will be televised live by SPEED on Saturday, May 21 starting with the twin Showdown races for the final qualifying spots at 7 PM ET.

Monster Mash

The Monster Mile in Dover, DE took a bite out of all three Joe Gibbs Racing car on Saturday afternoon. Wet weather threatened to postpone the event, but after several track-drying operations the full distance (and then some) was able to be run. Brian Scott lost control of his No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota early in the event and hit the inside retaining wall on the front stretch which running in the Top-10. After extensive repairs, he was able to return to the track. However, Brian eventually retired from the event in 30th position.

Joey Logano and Kyle Busch proved to be stiff competition for the other leaders throughout the race, consistently running in the Top-5. Busch would have to make a long pit stop after receiving damage to the No. 18 MAC Tools Toyota from an accordion-style incident while entering pit road. Meanwhile, Logano would battle for the lead with Carl Edwards for much of the race. A late race incident set up the second of two Green-White-Checkered finishes and saw Logano restart 2nd and Busch 6th. Off of turn for, coming to take the white flag, Logano and Edwards were side by side when Edwards’ car started to lose rear grip exiting the turn. His car slid up the track near Logano’s left-rear quarter panel. As Logano described, the front splitter from Edwards’ car packed air under the back of the No. 20 GameStop Toyota, creating an ‘aero-loose’ situation. Logano’s car veered into the outside wall, bounced off of it, and back into traffic where the No. 33 made contact and launched into the air. Busch received heavy damage while trying to avoid the mayhem. All drivers walked away from the incident without injury. Logano would end up 13th, and Busch amazingly limped home in 2nd.

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Frequent Questions

[learn_more caption="What are the hours for the race shop?" state="open"]Shop viewing area is open Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm. Our gift store is open Monday-Friday from 8am to 4pm. Our address is 13415 Reese Blvd. West, Huntersville, NC 28078[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Can you give me information on Fan Fest? "]We do not currently have plans for a Fan Fest in 2011, though the shop is open during Charlotte race weeks. See hours above.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Can you arrange for me to meet my favorite driver? "]While we very much appreciate your support of our team and drivers, we cannot arrange meetings with our drivers or owners. We do not handle driver schedules, these are handled by each driver’s managment team on and individual basis. Our drivers make appearances each week in the local race market.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Will you send me a fan pack? "]Thanks for your support, but we do not provide free fan packs with merchandise. You can find all of our merchandise at shop.joegibbsracing.com. We would be happy to send you hero cards for our drivers if you send a self-addressed and stamped envelope (big enough to fit 8 x 10 inch (A4) cards) to: 13415 Reese Blvd West. Huntersville, NC 28078 USA Please include a note telling us which drivers you would like included: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Matt DiBennedetto, Brad Coleman[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="How can I obtain autographs from the JGR team? "]Joe Gibbs & Denny Hamlin Due to the back log of items, Joe Gibbs and Denny Hamlin are not accepting autograph request items at this time. You are invited to attend one of their many personal appearances and meet them in person where they will be happy to sign a photo or your merchandise. All autograph requests for Joe and Denny will be returned. Kyle Busch Please sened autograph requests to: Kyle Busch Motorsports Inc. Attn: Autograph Request, 559 Pitts School Road Concord, NC 28027 Joey Logano Joey Logano Fan Club 9911 Rose Commons Dr. Suite E-15 Huntersville, NC 28078 **Please Do Not Send Die-Cast Cars To Be Autographed. They WILL NOT be returned.** The Joey Logano Fan Club’s policy prohibits accepting any small items, including trading cards, due to the increased risk of being lost or misplaced. All other drivers and team members: Joe Gibbs Racing 13415 Reese Blvd. West Huntersville, NC 28078 Please abide by the following guidelines: Please limit your requests to a maximum of two items per year. Please include return packaging, a return address label, and adequate postage so that we may return the autographed item to you. If you would like a die-cast car autographed, please remove the car from its box and send it to us in bubble wrap or other suitable packaging. Otherwise, it will be autographed on the box it came in. We discourage your sending of any highly valuable items to be autographed. Due to the large volumes of mail we receive, items may occasionally be separated from their envelopes or packaging. On other occasions mail may not get to its intended destination. Joe Gibbs Racing cannot be held responsible for any lost, misplaced, or missing items. Thank you in advance for respecting these guidelines. Please keep in mind that due to the excessive volume of requests that are received, autograph requests can take 18 to 24 months to process.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="When will Denny, Kyle, or Joey be appearing in my area? "]Denny, Kyle and Joey do a number of public appearances throughout the country during the season. Their showcar appearance schedules are posted on this site. For Joey, Denny and Kyle please check their personal web sites for their appearance schedule. Please do not email us asking when Denny, Kyle or Joey will be appearing in your area.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Can I get tickets, pit passes or access to hospitality tents through Joe Gibbs Racing? "]No. The number of pit passes obtained by each team is strictly regulated by NASCAR. We cannot obtain pit passes for fans. Ticket sales are handled by each individual track. Please contact the track that you would like to attend for ticket information. Joe Gibbs Racing cannot provide hospitality access for fans. Hospitality is one of the largest benefits of having a NASCAR sponsorship that a participating company enjoys and unfortunately not every fan can take advantage of these programs.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Where is your race shop located? "]The Joe Gibbs Racing facility is located at 13415 Reese Blvd. West, Huntersville, NC. Huntersville is about 15 miles north of Charlotte.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Can I get a tour of your race shop? "]We do not give tours per se, but our raceshop is open for viewing to the general public Mon-Fri, from 8am-5pm.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Can I link my homepage to JoeGibbsRacing.com? "]Yes. You may link to our site. The URL is www.joegibbsracing.com Please do not embed images from our site onto yours. All content found here is property of Joe Gibbs Racing unless otherwise noted.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Will you contribute to my charity?"]Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is committed to positively influencing our community. We are dedicated to supporting charities and nonprofit organizations through the donation of race used items and memorabilia. Due to the numerous donation requests received annually, we have established the following guidelines to serve as a framework for fair and impartial distribution of items. All requests must be made in writing on organizational letterhead and mailed to: Joe Gibbs Racing Attn: Community Relations Dept. 13415 Reese Blvd. West Huntersville NC 28078 Or sent via email to: communityrelations@joegibbsracing.com All requests should be received eight (8) weeks prior to the event date, no exceptions. All requests must also include the Charitable Contribution Request form. No requests received by fax will be accepted. All organizations that receive a donation must return the JGR Auction Record Form. The organization holding the fundraiser is responsible for returning the form to JGR upon completion of auction. Your organization will not be considered for future donations until we have received a copy of the complete Auction Record Form. All items donated are at the discretion of JGR. Submitting a donation request does not guarantee a donation. Receipt of a donation does not guarantee future support. Decorations or donations for parties, reunions or sport-themed rooms cannot be fulfilled. It is our policy that all organizations within a 25 mile radius of JGR pick up their donation during regular business hours at our Huntersville facility. In some cases, JGR might ask for payment for shipping.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="How do I book a showcar for my event?"]Joe Gibbs Racing showcars can be booked through Redline Sports Marketing. The cost is $2400 per (6 hours) day for one car. Please contact Judy Phillips at (407) 877-7937 for more information.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="How can I get a job with Joe Gibbs Racing?"]Joe Gibbs Racing is NOT accepting applications or resumes for any positions at this time. We do suggest that you contact the folks at www.racecityresumes.com as they have a great track record of placing professionals in the motor sports business.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Do you have an internship program?"]Joe Gibbs Racing does not have any internships available at this time nor do we have any information regarding possible future positions.[/learn_more]

[learn_more caption="Will you sponsor me or my race team?"]Joe Gibbs Racing does not sponsor drivers or teams. We rely on our sponsors to support the activities of Joe Gibbs Racing through our partnerships with their companies and organizations. Sponsorship is at the core of racing for all of us at any level and is often more competitive than the racing itself. We suggest that you take advantage of every opportunity to learn about what companies look for in corporate spokespersons, why companies get involved in motorsports and talk to everyone that will talk to you. Often the money will go to the person or team who just won’t give up.[/learn_more]

Dover Quotes & Notes

 
 
 

Denny Hamlin Quotes

 
How important have these last couple weeks been for the team?

“We always knew we were a team capable of running up front and competing for wins, and we usually start a little slow, but this year it was just moved back a week or two. Usually, we turn it on when we get to Martinsville, and when we didn’t this year, people started to ask questions. The runs we had at Richmond and Darlington were good to gain some points on the guys in front of us. I knew it was only a matter of time before we started moving up, and hopefully we continue that at Dover this weekend. We just need to continue to put solid weeks together and everything will take care of itself.”
Read more

Southern 500 Recap & Photos

Race recap coming soon.  In the meantime, enjoy these photos from the Southern 500 weekend.

It was yet another eventful night on the challenging track of Darlington Raceway and when it was all over Denny Hamlin would lead Joe Gibbs Racing with a sixth place finish, while Kyle Busch crossed the line in 11th and an accident left Joey Logano in 35th.

Hamlin entered the night seeking to defend his victory from a year ago at the famed track known by many as the Lady in Black. Hamlin started his No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota in the third position after a strong qualifying effort on Friday evening. He would battle tight conditions through much of the first half of the race while racing just inside the top ten. Crew chief Mike Ford would call for changes each time down pit road and his No. 11 Camry began to free up in the corners. The team would take a bigger swing at adjustments on lap 231 and although the stop under caution would cause Hamlin to lose some track position the adjustments appeared to work and it didn’t take long for him to race his way back into the top ten. With about 100 laps remaining Hamlin would report that the car was tight, but conditions were consistent. The team made a decision to come down pit road for fresh tires when a late caution came out and Hamlin managed to race his way to a sixth-place finish. It was Hamlin’s second straight top ten finish after his second-place effort last week in Richmond.

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Busch started the No. 18 Doublemint Toyota in the 14th position but quickly proved to have one of the strongest cars in the field. He climbed into the top-10 by lap 10 and made his way into the top-five by lap 34. He would assume the lead for the first time on lap 125 following a tremendous pit stop by his Doublemint crew and spend the remainder of the first half of the race in the lead position. Unfortunately shortly after lap 200, Busch would radio in to crew chief Dave Rogers to report a vibration in his right rear tire. He would bring his No. 18 Camry down pit road on lap 207 four fresh tires, but the unscheduled stop would cause him to lose a lap to the field. Patience would be the key from there and a caution on lap 238 would give Busch the Lucky Dog and put him back on the lead lap. Busch would restart 21st on lap 242 and drive his way up into 13th by the time the next caution came on lap 281. As the race neared completion it appeared Busch would have the opportunity to earn a remarkable comeback and a top-five finish, but contact with No. 29 of Kevin Harvick forced him to come down pit road one final time for quick repairs of the damage and a new set of tires. The late loss of track position took Busch out of contention for a top-ten finish, although an impressive run over the two-lap green-white-checkered finish allowed him to salvage 11th place.

Joey Logano started the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota in the 17th position and battled through the early going with changing track conditions that caused the handle on his car to move from tight to loose. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli and the Home Depot crew would make the necessary adjustments to improve the handle on the car and Logano would drive into the top ten by lap 215. Pit strategy would put Logano back in 15th place and while racing his way back into the top ten on lap 238 he would get into the side of the No. 9 car forcing him to spin across the track and into the inside retaining wall. The damage to the No. 20 Camry would be significant causing Logano to pull into the garage for repairs. By the time the crew could make the necessary repairs Logano would finish himself some 40 laps off the pace. He would go on to finish the night 35th.

Regan Smith captured his first career victory, while Carl Edwards finished second, Brad Keselowski was third, Kasey Kahne was fourth and Ryan Newman rounded out the top five. There were 11 cautions for a total of 46 laps and 21 lead changes among 12 different drivers over the course of the 370-lap race, which was extended three laps for a green-white-checkered finish.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head to Dover next Sunday. The FedEx 400 to benefit Autism Speaks in Dover will begin at 1 PM ET with live, high-definition coverage provided by FOX beginning with its pre-race show at Noon ET.