Martinsville Speedway was missing one of its favorites this afternoon with Denny Hamlin forced to sit out today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP Gas Booster 500 while recovering from a back injury suffered two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway.
NASCAR veteran driver Mark Martin would fill in for Hamlin and was able to help the FedEx team to a 10th-place finish, while both Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth took their turns at the front of the field over the course of the race and before bringing home fifth and 14th-place finishes respectively.
Busch qualified the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota 11th and patiently worked his way to the front of the field. A great pit stop under caution by the M&Ms crew allowed Busch to restart in the second position on lap 91 and he would pass Jimmie Johnson to take his first lead of the day. He would hold the lead for 12 laps. Busch would remain in the top three over the next 150 laps before passing his teammate in the 20 car to regain the lead just past the halfway mark. Busch would lead twice for a total of 56 laps on the day. He would restart third on lap 368 and would hold onto fifth over the next green flag run as he battled handling conditions on his M&Ms Camry that shifted from earlier in the race. A caution with just over 50 laps to go would allow final adjustments to the car and Busch would restart fourth with 42 laps to go. Busch would restart from the fourth position once again with eight laps remaining and he managed to hold off a challenge from the 2 car to come home fifth. Read more
Kyle Busch was able to complete the weekend sweep at Auto Club Speedway this weekend with a thrilling finish in which he managed to avoid an accident coming out of turn four to take the checkered flag in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400.
Unfortunately that accident involved his teammate Denny Hamlin, who was racing Joey Logano for the win, but was sent spinning down across the track after contact from the 22 car. The No. 11 Camry hit hard into the inside wall of Auto Club Speedway. Hamlin was taken to the infield care center where he complained of back pain. He was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. He would be officially scored in 25th position for the race. Read more
All three Joe Gibbs Racing entries took their turns at the front of the field in today’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. In fact, JGR would lead a total of 258 of the race’s 500 scheduled laps.
When it was over Kyle Busch’s second-place finish would lead the team, while a late-race flat tire left Denny Hamlin to drop from third to finish 23rd, and an accident with 100 laps to go took Matt Kenseth from second to a disappointing 35th. Read more
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. Read more
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. Read more