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Kenseth Wins in Las Vegas!

It didn’t take long for Matt Kenseth to earn his first victory for Joe Gibbs Racing with an impressive performance for victory in today’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Kenseth decided to celebrate his birthday by holding off a fast charging Kasey Kahne over the final 20 laps to lift Dollar General to its first every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.
 
In addition the victory marked Toyota’s 50th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win and JGR’s 101st.
 
It was a strong day overall for JGR with Kyle Busch proving to have one of the fastest cars on the track throughout the day leading several times and earning a fourth-place finish. Denny Hamlin managed to recover from a pit road speeding penalty that at one point left him a lap down, to earn a 15th place finish.
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Hamlin Charges to Third at Phoenix International Raceway

Denny Hamlin led Joe Gibbs Racing after driving from the back of the field to finish third in today’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Matt Kenseth was solid throughout the day and finished seventh while an early race spin left Kyle Busch to battle back from a lap down to finish 23rd.

Hamlin, who won this race one year ago, qualified eighth on Friday, but changed out his engine prior to the final practice session Saturday which resulted in having to drop to the back of the field for the start of today’s race. Hamlin showed tremendous patience in his No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota however as he methodically worked his way up through the field. He would enter the top 30 within the first 10 laps of the race and was inside the top 20 ¼ of the way into the scheduled 312 laps. Pit strategy and great stops by the FedEx crew would help Hamlin continue to make his way forward and he would enter the top five by the midpoint of the race. Hamlin would remain in the top 10 the rest of the day and he lined up fourth for a green white checker finish on lap 314. He would make a tremendous move to get around both Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski for second, but Johnson would come back to edge Hamlin at the line and he would settle for an outstanding third-place effort.
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The Daytona 500

A promising day turned to frustration for Joe Gibbs Racing in today’s 55th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
 
With just over 50 laps remaining in the Great American Race, JGR appeared set for a historic finish with all three cars running 1-2-3 and having led a majority of the day. Unfortunately engine problems would leave Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth to finish 34th and 37th respectively, while Denny Hamlin got stuck in a slow bottom lane during the race’s final laps and finished 14th.
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The Sprint Unlimited

There was a new name and a few new wrinkles with fans voting for several aspects of tonight’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. The once consistent factor however was the unpredictable nature of the race.

Only 19 cars in the field lined up for this non-points event which was run in three different segments as voted on by NASCAR fans. The first segment was 30 laps in length followed by a second segment of 25 laps and finally a third and final 20 lap race to the finish. Unfortunately by the time the first segment of the race was complete only 12 cars would remain on the track as a large accident on lap 15 took out seven cars including two Joe Gibbs Racing teammates.
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The Final Race of 2012

Kyle Busch led Joe Gibbs Racing in today’s season finale with yet another strong performance and top-five finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Busch would start his No. 18 M&Ms Toyota eighth and as was the case throughout much of the Chase he would prove to have one of the best cars on the track. Busch wasted no time in making his way to the front of the field as he had the lead by lap 15. Once again the M&Ms crew provide Busch with the dominate car today which would lead six different times for 191 laps. With only three cautions on the day it would come down to the final fuel run. Busch would cycle through as the leader but he would need one more stop to make it to the end while others who pitted later would be able to make it to the end. With no caution to help Busch would pit a final time with 14 laps to go and come back out 13th with 12 to go. He would impressively drive his way back toward the front of the field one last time to earn the fourth-place finish.
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