The Great American Race was postponed for the first time in history thanks to heavy rains that swept across Daytona International Speedway on Sunday. When the track was finally dry the result was a Monday night primetime event that certainly didn’t lack any of the excitement that has come to be expected from the Daytona 500.
Kyle Busch deftly avoided several wrecks and made a thrilling a pass of Tony Stewart just before the finish line to capture The Bud Shootout tonight at Daytona International Speedway.
The win was the first Shootout victory for Toyota as well as for Busch. Teammate Denny Hamlin managed to overcome an early accident to finish fifth, while Joey Logano was involved in an accident with 20 laps to go and finished 18th.
Dave Alpern, Vice President of Marketing, is currently in his 19th year here at Joe Gibbs Racing. Dave began his career at JGR as a recent college graduate, working out of a broom closet as a unpaid project intern. Currently he oversees all aspects of marketing for the team, including customer products, branding, marketing activation, social media and assists in driver management and negotiation. Dave’s integrity, sense of humor, and strong ability to communicate are a few reasons why he is one of the longest tenured marketing executives in the sport.
Denny Hamlin led Joe Gibbs Racing with a ninth-place finish in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Meanwhile Joey Logano finished the day in 19th and a late stop for fuel left Kyle Busch in 23rd.
Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota from the 10th position and battled tight conditions through the early going, but crew chief Mike Ford and the FedEx crew were able to make adjustments to help the No. 11 Camry turn better in the corners. Rain on lap 110 would force NASCAR to red flag the race with Hamlin in the 13th position. The red flag would last just over an hour and a great pit stop to follow allowed Hamlin to restart in the top 10. He would race his way up into the top five on the next run and was the fastest car on the track at one point. Pit strategy would call for a four-tire stop with just over 100 laps remaining leaving Hamlin to restart back outside of the top ten. He would manage to drive his way back toward the top ten over the next 30 laps. Rain would bring another caution with just over 50 laps remaining and Hamlin would come back down pit road for fuel and tires. He would restart 13th when the race would restart with 37 to go and was able to drive his way up to ninth for the checkered flag.
As we continue our series highlighting JGR employees that have been a part of the team from the beginning, Susan Berry has worked on the merchandise side of JGR since she started here in 1991. She has been involved in all aspects of NASCAR merchandise and inventory, and has plenty of experience to show for it. From her early days working at the racetrack with her husband on the souvenir trailer, to now- primarily managing the retail store here at JGR and online- Susan provides us with a unique glimpse into the merchandise side of racing.