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Atlanta Race Report

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Matt Kenseth led Joe Gibbs Racing with a fifth-place finish in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Carl Edwards rebounded from a flat tire to finish 12th, while David Ragan finished 18th and an accident left Denny Hamlin back in 38th despite running in the top five most of the day.

Matt Kenseth started the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in the 36th position but quickly climbed through the field and was running 11th when a competition caution waved on lap 25. After a great stop on pit road Kenseth would find himself in the top ten restarting eighth on lap 32. The Dollar General Camry would remain inside the top ten and race as high as third in the opening 100 laps. He would pit from the fourth position on lap 138 when he felt there might be a problem with a rear tire. Kenseth was correct as the tire showed that it was beginning to unravel, but the move initially paid off as he set off a cycle of green flag stops which resulted in the No. 20 Camry taking the lead on lap 142. He would battle a loose handling race car and eventually fell back outside the top five during the green flag run. Kenseth came back down pit road with more tire issues on lap 168 and a caution about five laps later would catch him a lap down forcing him to take the wave around. Fortunately a caution would quickly follow allowing the 20 to come back down pit road for fresh tires and remain on the lead lap. The handling on the Dollar General Camry would continue to struggle back in traffic however and he would run 18th with 100 laps remaining. He would line up 16th for a restart with 70 to go and drove his way back into the top ten and was running eighth with 50 laps to go. Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff would make the decision to remain out under caution while the other leaders pitted with 25 laps to go allowing him to restart as the leader. He would relinquish the top spot on the restart when another accident triggered a red flag situation. The race restarted with 15 laps to go and Kenseth battled to earn a fifth-place finish.

Carl Edwards started the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota from the fifth position and would enter the pits from sixth following a competition caution on lap 25. He would restart in fourth on lap 32. Edwards would race inside the top ten over the course of the first 100 laps and was seventh at lap 125. The ARRIS Camry was running sixth on lap 142 following a round of green flag pit stops. He would continue to fight for a spot inside the top five and was running fourth with 80 laps remaining. He would line up fifth for a restart with 70 to go and managed to drive into third before another quick caution for a wreck just behind him. Edwards was running fifth with just over 50 laps remaining when a flat left rear tire would force him to pit road. The ARRIS team would give him fresh tires but the process would cost Edwards two laps to the leaders. He would get one lap back when the leaders pitted under green and then Edwards received the lucky dog to get back on the lead lap. He would restart 12th with just over 20 laps to go. He would go on to finish 12th.

David Ragan started his first race for JGR, filling in for an injured Kyle Busch, who was hurt last weekend following an accident at Daytona International Speedway. Busch is now resting at his home in the Charlotte area. Ragan started the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota from the 17th position and was able to gain five positions on the opening 25-lap run before NASCAR displayed a competition caution. He would restart from the fifth position on lap 32. The M&Ms Crispy Camry would drop back outside the top ten and was running 16th on lap 125. He would drop back to run 20th at the halfway mark and would ultimately fall two laps off the pace. He would go on to finish 18th.

Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Ground Camry from the fourth position and used a great start to jump two spots into second where he raced over the course of the opening 25 laps before a NASCAR threw a competition caution following overnight rain that washed the track clean. Hamlin would race near the top five for most of the opening 100 laps and drove his way up to second on lap 115. He would lead during a round of green flag pit stops on lap 140 and once the field cycled through stops he was racing in third. He would climb into second on that run and the FedEx crew would put Hamlin out of the pits as the leader on lap 175. He would hold the lead for several laps before sliding back into third. He would line up seventh for a restart with 70 to go but would spin down across the track and then back up into the outside wall. The damage would force Hamlin to take the FedEx Camry back to the garage for repairs. He would return to finish the race but was left with a disappointing 38th-place finish despite leading twice and running in the top five most of the day.

Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports captured the win, followed by Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Joey Logano and Kenseth was fifth. There were 10 cautions for a total of 54 laps and 28 lead changes among 12 different drivers.

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Comcast’s Two Premier Brands, Comcast Business and XFINITY, Sponsor Car Edwards, Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015

Comcast Business to be primary paint scheme during KOBALT 400 in Las Vegas and Food City 500 in Bristol
XFINITY to be primary during Sylvania 300 in New Hampshire and Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 in Martinsville

Comcast announced today it will join Carl Edwards and the No. 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing as primary sponsor for four races in 2015.

The partnership will kick off at the KOBALT 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8, with _blank">Comcast Business as the primary paint scheme for Edwards’ Toyota Camry, marking the first major sponsorship deal in NASCAR for Comcast’s business services unit that provides data, Internet, TV and other communication services to organizations of all sizes. Comcast Business will also be featured at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19. The four-race partnership will round out with XFINITY, the company’s residential brand for Internet, TV and other communication services, taking over as primary paint scheme for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 27, and Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on November 1.

“We’re excited about this partnership with Comcast as they continue to grow in the sport, and I’ve had a great time so far working with them in preparation for Las Vegas,” said Edwards, who will have ARRIS on board his No. 19 Toyota seventeen times during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season.

“I’m excited to continue to build the relationship with them this year and hopefully we can put them into victory lane.”

Edwards, a 12-year veteran of NASCAR’s top-tier series, has 23 wins to his credit; five of which came at tracks where the Missouri native will carry the Comcast Business colors this season.

“We could not be more excited to partner with Carl Edwards and Joe Gibbs Racing as a sponsor of the No. 19 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” said Matt Lederer, Senior Director of Sports Marketing for Comcast. “Carl’s success on the track and his affinity for technology off the track makes him a great ambassador for Comcast. We are confident he will do an outstanding job representing our organization as well as our customers, and we can’t wait to kick off this relationship at Las Vegas.”

In 2015 Comcast joined the NASCAR family as its XFINITY brand became the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series, formerly the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and the Official Entertainment Provider of NASCAR. Comcast and NASCAR announced the agreement in September 2014 to make XFINITY the third title sponsor in the storied 30+ year history of the series.

Hisense Partners with Joe Gibbs Racing and Charlotte Motor Speedway

Hisense is pleased to announce a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing as the primary sponsor of the No. 20 Toyota Camry driven by Denny Hamlin for two races in the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series. The brand has also announced it will sponsor the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 23.

The consumer electronics manufacturer made these announcements on the heels of its first foray into NASCAR with the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 28, 2015.

Hisense is the No. 2 UHD (ultra-high definition) television manufacturer in the world and the No. 1 television manufacturer in China for the past 11 years. Globally, it has produced over 129 million televisions and is the fourth most sold TV brand in the world.
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David Ragan Will Fill in For Kyle Busch in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Behind Wheel of No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota Starting in Atlanta

Kyle Busch Transferred To Charlotte Area Hospital

Erik Jones Will Pilot No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota In NASCAR XFINITY Series in Atlanta

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (February 24, 2015) – Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that David Ragan will fill in for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch was released this morning from Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, FL and transferred to a hospital near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina for further treatment. Busch sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg in an accident during Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident.

No specific timetable has been announced for Busch’s return to the race track. It is expected that Ragan will pilot the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota for at least the next several weeks. Ragan’s current race team Front Row Motorsports and sponsor CSX accommodated the move by Ragan and Ragan is expected to return to the team later this season.

Additional updates on Busch’s condition will be provided as necessary.

In addition, JGR announces that Erik Jones will pilot the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend in Atlanta. An announcement on who will drive the Monster Energy Camry following Atlanta will be made at a later date.

Ragan has run eight full seasons in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 291 career starts. The 29-year-old Georgia native has two career wins, including most recently at Talladega Superspeedway in May of 2013.

Jones is currently running a full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports and a partial schedule for JGR in the No. 20 NASCAR XFINITY Series Camry.

“We appreciate being able to work with Front Row Motorsports and CSX for David’s (Ragan) availability,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “We are fortunate to be able to have someone of David’s caliber behind the wheel while Kyle recovers. Erik is a big part of our future at JGR and we will be increasing his schedule in the XFINITY Series beginning this weekend in Atlanta and seeking the earliest opportunity to provide him Cup experience. We appreciate all the support we have received from the NASCAR community including our fans and we look forward to getting Kyle back in the car as soon as possible.”

“Everyone at Mars is thankful that Kyle is doing well and we continue to wish him a speedy recovery,” said William Clements, vice president of sponsorship and sports marketing for Mars Incorporated. “While we can’t wait until Kyle returns behind the wheel of the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota, we are excited to work with David and we’re pleased JGR was able to work it out for him to step in during Kyle’s absence.”