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Denny Hamlin to drive the SunEnergy1 No. 20 Toyota in the XFINITY Series

NASCAR XFINITY Series at Michigan International Speedway

Continuing their support of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) for the second consecutive season, SunEnergy1 will sponsor five NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) races in 2015 with Denny Hamlin and road-course veteran Kenny Habul sharing the driving duties of the No. 20 Toyota Camry.

After sponsoring four NXS races last season, SunEnergy1, one of the largest solar companies in the world, will kickoff their continued partnership at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. Hamlin will be behind the wheel during Saturday’s NXS race and will return at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 18. Accomplished road-course racer and Australia-native Habul will pilot the No. 20 SunEnergy1 Toyota for the remaining three races at Watkins Glen on August 8, Mid Ohio on August 15 and Road America on August 29.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity,” said Habul. “The partnership between SunEnergy1 and Joe Gibbs Racing continues to be successful and allows us to align with talented drivers like Denny Hamlin. I’m very proud to be driving on the road courses and to be a part of the Joe Gibbs family for the second year.”

Habul raced open wheel in Australia from 1997 to 2005, competing in the Australian Formula Ford Championship, along with a three-year stint in the Australian Formula 3 Driver’s Championship Series with Piccola Scuderia’s Ferrari Team in Sydney.

While continuing a career as a competitive road-course driver, Habul received an opportunity to make his stock-car debut in one of NASCAR’s top national series at Road America in 2012. Since then, Habul has made nine-career starts, scoring his best-career finish last year while racing in a JGR Toyota Camry at Road America.

No. 20 SunEnergy1 Toyota News and Notes:

  • BACK IN ACTION: Denny Hamlin returns to the No. 20 SunEnergy1 Toyota Camry this weekend after scoring his first NXS victory of the season with the No. 20 team at Richmond International Raceway, followed by a runner-up finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the No. 54 Toyota Camry. Although Hamlin hasn’t competed at Michigan International Speedway in the series since 2009, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular has two Cup wins with crew chief Mike Wheeler, as his race engineer, in 2010 and 2011 at NASCAR’S fastest two-mile speedway.
  • JOE GIBBS RACING AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY: JGR has 34 total NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Michigan International Speedway, debuting at the track in 1998 with Bobby Labonte. The team has claimed two wins, one pole, 12 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes. The team has an average start of 14.2, an average finish of 11.0, has led 178 laps at the track and completed 4,125 of 4,204 total laps (98.1%).
  • RACE INFO: The NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Michigan International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Watch and listen live on FoxSports1, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio.

Hamlin’s 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Season Stats:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
6 1 3 4 1 301 5.8 10.5

Hamlin’s Career NASCAR XFINITY Series Stats:

Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Poles Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
148 12 53 88 17 2,789 9.5 12.1

From the Cockpit:

Denny Hamlin: “Saturday’s race should be a good one for us. I have a lot of confidence in Wheels (Mike Wheeler, crew chief) and the No. 20 team. Having extra track time will be really beneficial this weekend. I’m looking forward to having SunEnergy1 on our car. Kenny (Habul) is a great friend of mine and I’m proud to represent SunEnergy1 this weekend and again at New Hampshire.”

From the Pit Box:

Mike Wheeler: “Racing at Michigan with Denny should be a good time. We’ve raced up front and won two Sprint Cup Series races together at this track a few years back, but haven’t had success since it’s been repaved. The track changed a good bit since the repave, but we’ve gained on it each time we we’ve gone back. Track position is a big deal at Michigan and the passing is hard. The tires don’t give up very much either. We’ll have to fight all day, but we’re really looking forward to getting Kenny Habul and SunEnergy1 a finish they can be proud of.”

Cody Coughlin Ready to Challenge Anderson’s High Banks

The high banks of Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Indiana can be challenging and fun at the same time for any driver. It is one of the tracks that Cody Coughlin looks forward to competing at every year. In fact, he made his Super Late Model debut at the high-banked, quarter-mile oval in 2013.

This Saturday, April 25th, the Joe Gibbs Racing Development driver will return to Anderson Speedway and compete in the ARCA/CRA Super Series powered by JEGS 125-lap event.

“I am eager to return to Anderson Speedway,”exclaimed Coughlin. “That is one of the most fun places to race, I think, as far from a driver’s standpoint. It is a great short, high-banked track.”

The track is known as one of the fastest quarter-mile ovals in the world. It will be tough to pass and quick reaction will be important to get the victory.

Coughlin’s strategy is going to be simple.

“The key will be to get up front and keep the fenders on the car,”the 19-year-old from Delaware, Ohio explained. “Sometimes races like these are strategy and survival.”

Coughlin will be going into this event with his Team JEGS crew that consists of Kevin Hamlin, Team Manager; Nick Easton, Crew Chief; Scott Wimmer, Spotter, and Dave Holt, crewmember.

“This team has worked real well preparing the car after our top-ten finish at Toledo Speedway,”Coughlin said. “We continue to get stronger at each event and it would be awesome to get a victory this weekend.”

Joining Cody and the Team JEGS crew this weekend will be his family that includes his parents, John & Di, and his sister, Kennedi.

“I am very blessed to have their continued love and support at all of the races,”expressed Coughlin. “When we do well, it is great to celebrate our efforts together as a family.

“Also, I continue to be blessed by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has kept a watchful eye over everyone this year and I am very grateful for his love and kindness.”

Coughlin raced with a scratched cornea a couple weeks ago at Toledo Speedway, but through some medicated eye drops and some rest, the third-generation racers is feeling much better.

Cody will be on track this Saturday with a one-hour practice session starting at 3pm ET with qualifying at 5:30pm. The 125-lap event will get underway at 7pm 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.

Charlotte and Pink

Sprint Cup Series

 

From Denny Hamlin

How can you turn the consistency the team has shown at Charlotte into your first career win at the track?
“Charlotte has been one of our more consistent tracks over the past couple years. We have been fortunate to bring fast cars there and get good qualifying positions to try to stay up front in the races. We need that again on Saturday night. Charlotte is going to be fast and fun under the lights, and hopefully we have a car that can compete for the win when it gets down to the end.”
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Labor Day at Atlanta

Sprint Cup Series

 

From Denny Hamlin

“Atlanta has been a good track for me over these last few years and we’ve always had a car that can contend for a win. We have come close to getting the win several times, and last year everything from the car to the pit crew fell into the right place and we finally got a win with our Sport Clips Toyota Camry. This season we have definitely struggled, but hopefully we can build off last year’s win and get us a good finish this week and maybe repeat the win from last season.”
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Second Chance at Michigan

Sprint Cup Series

 

From Denny Hamlin

How has Michigan changed the past few races after the repaved?
“Michigan is certainly a track that has gone through a lot of changes after the repave. It’s very fast and has a lot of grip, and that has made it difficult to get a tire that we can run and pass with. We have had a couple wins at Michigan, but haven’t seemed to get the handle on it like we would like to since they repaved it. Earlier this year, we were just so loose entering the corner that we couldn’t make any speed. I’m confident that the guys have worked hard to get a good setup in the car heading back to the track this weekend.”
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