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Phoenix Race Report

It was anything but the typical weather you might find in the desert of Arizona with rain Saturday night washing away all the tire rubber build up that give cars improved grip on the racetrack and cloud cover Sunday afternoon that made it increasingly difficult to make adjustments to aid a car’s handling.

All three Joe Gibbs Racing entries spent a good portion of the day racing inside the top ten but a rash of late cautions shuffled the field and when the checker flag waved Kyle Busch was the only one remaining in the top ten, earning a ninth-place finish in The Profit on CNBC 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Meanwhile Matt Kenseth would take the checkered flag in 12th, while Denny Hamlin settled for 19th.
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The Daytona 500 Results

Rain might have delayed today’s Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, but it certainly did not take away from the excitement of the sport’s premiere event.

Joe Gibbs Racing was a large part of today’s excitement with all three cars in the top ten in the closing laps, but when it was over, Denny Hamlin’s second-place effort would be team’s best finish on this night, while Matt Kenseth would earn a strong sixth-place finish, and a late accident left Kyle Busch back in 19th.
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JGR Sweeps Twin Qualifying Races in Daytona

Joe Gibbs Racing swept tonight’s Twin 150 Duel Races at Daytona International Speedway.

Matt Kenseth won the first 60-lap qualifying race and was followed by another impressive effort from Denny Hamlin, who built upon his victory in last Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited Showdown with a victory in the second duel. Meanwhile Kyle Busch battled an ill-handling race car to finish 20th in the first duel.

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is unique to the remainder of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season as the pole positions are the only two spots determined by the fastest lap times made during a traditional qualifying session. Austin Dillon earned the pole position last Sunday by running the fastest lap time and was followed by Martin Truex, Jr. who earned the outside pole spot.

The remainder of the field was set tonight based upon the results of two Twin 150 Duels run at Daytona International Speedway.

JGR teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch lined up ninth and 11th respectively for the opening Duel of the night. Kenseth would make his way to the front of the field on lap 28 and led a total of 31 laps en route to an impressive victory which included holding off a hard charging Kevin Harvick at the finish. The win means Kenseth will line up third for the start of Sunday’s Daytona 500. Meanwhile Busch was not as fortunate as he battled an ill-handling car to a 20th-place finish. He will line up 37th for the start of the race Sunday.

Denny Hamlin started No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota from the 11th position in the second duel and was able to build upon his impressive victory last Saturday in the season opening all-star race with another win tonight. He would take the lead with a well-executed pit stop on lap 37 and never looked back taking the checkered flag in first. The win will allow Hamlin to start Sunday’s Daytona 500 from the fourth position.

The Great American Race will once again provide the official start to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season when Fox carries the Daytona 500 live from Daytona International Speedway Sunday, February 23 beginning at Noon ET (race begins at 1 PM ET). The race will also be carried on Sirius NASCAR radio channel 90.

Denny Hamlin Wins at Homestead!

Joe Gibbs Racing completed one of the organization’s strongest seasons ever with a win by Denny Hamlin in today’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The victory was the first of 2013 for Hamlin and gave JGR 12 wins this season, which is the most in the organization’s 22 years of racing.

Matt Kenseth, who entered the day in second-place 28 points behind Jimmie Johnson in the Championship standings, started on the pole and led the most laps before capturing a strong second-place finish to his teammate. Kyle Busch also spent the majority of his day racing inside the top ten before taking the checkered flag in seventh.

Kenseth finishes the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in second place, 19 points behind Jimmie Johnson, while Busch finishes the season a career-best fourth in the standings.
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