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Matt Kenseth Launches New Educational Children’s Book Series

Today on National Youth Literacy Day, Matt Kenseth debuted Matt Kenseth’s Race Against Bullying, his first children’s book aimed at educating and empowering children to make good choices if faced with bullying situations. Kenseth, a two-time Daytona 500 Champion and the NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, released the book with his wife Katie at Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters.

Published by Bendon, Inc., Matt Kenseth’s Race Against Bullying is available today for purchase exclusively at more than 11,300 Dollar General stores nationwide and online at www.dollargeneral.com. It is also the first installment of a four-part series of educational children’s books that Matt and Katie Kenseth championed. The series is designed for family reading for children ages 4 through 8 to become more self-confident and empowered to make good choices.

“As a parent of three small children, it’s natural to worry about the issues they will face while growing up,” said Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. “Both Katie and I believe that openly talking about these issues is the best way to prepare them. This book is designed to help families discuss the effects of bullying with their kids. We believe it’s important our kids not only know how to deal with a bully, but also understand that it’s not OK to act like one.”

“We’re excited to partner with Matt to raise awareness and provide solutions to childhood bullying, especially since it reflects our mission of Serving Others,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “The project also combines Dollar General’s passion for literacy and reading through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation with the strong representation Matt brings to both Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR.”

According to www.stopbullying.gov, more than 70 percent of students say they have seen bullying in their schools and less than 30 percent of students who are bullied notify an adult. More statistics, further reading about bullying, and ways that adults can help can be found at the stopbullying.gov website.

Kenseth, an avid reader, has helped support literacy programs throughout his career and currently serves as an ambassador for the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Sharing in both Dollar General and Kenseth’s commitment to literacy is long-time Kenseth sponsor CITIZEN Watch, who made a $25,000 donation on Kenseth’s behalf to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in honor of the book launch.

“Our new brand statement Better Starts Now is about reaching inside yourself to do things better. With the launch of his new book, Matt has shown us that this motto is part of his character both on and off the track,” said Jeffrey Cohen, President of Citizen Watch Company of America. “With statistics showing bullying and harassment becoming an even bigger social problem a book like this is just what is needed to help start the conversation earlier between parents and children. Citizen Watch Company has supported higher education for the past two years as a corporate sponsor of the National Merit Scholarship Foundation and we are proud to expand our educational support with a donation to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in honor of Matt Kenseth.”

Matt Kenseth’s Race Against Bullying is a 22-page, 10 x 10-inch, soft-cover book, retailing for $3 at more than 11,300 Dollar General stores nationwide and online at www.dollargeneral.com.

Written by Gina Gold, illustrated by Adam Devaney and produced by Judy O Productions, Inc., Matt Kenseth’s Race Against Bullying was created by Matt and Katie Kenseth and is published by Bendon, Inc.

In the first book in the series Matt Kenseth’s Race Against Bullying, a nine year old Matt is confronted by a bully at school. He must go to his parents and friends for help with handling this bully. With their assistance, he is able to discover a variety of ways to successfully deal with bullies in his life.

Mars Sweetens its NASCAR Sponsorships

Announces Multiyear Renewals with Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch and NASCAR®

Mars announced today that it has signed new multi-year deals with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR), further anchoring its presence in the sport. The new agreement with JGR will extend the winning partnership that has brought the No. 18 M&M’S® Toyota to victory lane 20 times since 2008 and continue with the popular M&M’S® brand as the primary paint scheme in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™.

The renewed contract with the sanctioning body will designate Mars as the Official Chocolate of NASCAR. Mars will continue to leverage its Official status to ensure its various chocolate brands remain a race day staple for millions of racing fans.

“Mars and its iconic brands have been part of NASCAR for decades, and we’re excited to keep that winning tradition going,” said Roy Benin, Chief Consumer Officer at Mars Chocolate North America. “As the sport has grown throughout the years, so has our involvement in it and we’re incredibly proud of the strong partnership we’ve forged with Joe Gibbs Racing and the league.”

“From connecting with fans to engaging our retail partners and creating passion among our associates, our alliances with Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR are tremendously successful,” explained William Clements, Vice President Sponsorships and Sports Marketing at Mars Chocolate North America. “We’re thrilled to extend our partnerships and look forward to celebrating more wins both on and off the track.”

“Mars has been a big part of the Joe Gibbs Racing family and we’re excited to continue what has become a winning relationship,” added Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Mars has been such an important partner to us throughout the past six plus seasons, and to have them continue their support inspires us as a team to work even harder every day. Everyone at JGR is committed to ensuring they experience the type of success on and off the track deserving of such a great company.”

“Being the M&M’S® driver and representing Mars on and off the track has been one of the proudest accomplishments in my racing career,” said Kyle Busch, driver of the No. M&M’S® 18 Toyota for JGR. “This is great news for everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and our fans, but also shows how dedicated Mars is to our sport. With this news, any trip to Victory Lane will be even sweeter.”

“Mars is one of the most recognizable brands in NASCAR and is among the best-in-class marketers in all of sports,” said Brent Dewar, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer. “More than two decades after entering NASCAR, Mars continues to help make race day more fun and we couldn’t be more proud to see the company continue to re-invest in our sport.”

To learn more about M&M’S® Racing, visit them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/MMSRacing.

Race Report: Pocono, August

Denny Hamlin led Joe Gibbs Racing in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 from Pocono Raceway with a ninth-place finish. Meanwhile an accident and engine failure left his teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch to finish 34th and 42nd respectively.

Hamlin started his No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota in the 13th position and with several early cautions fuel strategy would quickly become a factor on this Sunday afternoon. Hamlin would battle his way into the top ten and battled much of the first half of the race to remain in the top ten while battling mostly loose handling conditions. Hamlin would get caught in the middle of a three wide situation on lap 117 causing his No. 11 Camry to get loose and up into the wall. He would manage to save the FedEx Toyota from major damage however, while many others wrecked behind him in what was the day’s big one. For a moment it appeared fuel strategy was going to play out perfectly for Hamlin who was running third with under 30 laps to go, but an untimely caution would allow the rest of the field to catch the leaders with fresher tires. Hamlin would battle to remain inside the top ten over the course of the final two restarts and took the checkered flag in ninth.

Kenseth started his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in the 18th position and was patient through the early going battling his way inside the top 15. With several early cautions fuel mileage would become a factor early this afternoon with many in the field utilizing a number of different pit strategies. Kenseth would enter the top five several times over the course of each fuel cycle and took his first lead of the day on lap 103. He was running just outside the top 15 when his teammate Hamlin got loose while running in the middle of a three wide situation. Although Hamlin didn’t spin and was able to save his car from significant damage many others would wreck behind him including Kenseth who was pushed hard into the outside wall on lap 117. The damage to the Dollar General Camry would be too great to continue and Kenseth would be scored in 38th.

Busch started the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota from the seventh position and as he had done all weekend showed he had a car capable of battling for a spot among the leaders. Unfortunately Busch would never have the opportunity to display whether or not his No. 18 Camry could win the battle on the tricky triangle. He would radio in after 23 laps that something was wrong with his engine. Busch would bring the M&Ms Toyota down pit road and ultimately into the garage. His day was over early and he would be scored in 42nd place.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the race, followed by Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five. There were eight cautions for a total of 35 laps and 15 lead changes among 10 different drivers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take to the road course of Watkins Glen International next week. ESPN will have live coverage from Watkins Glen, NY on Sunday, August 10 at Noon ET (race begins 1 PM ET). The race will also be carried on Sirius NASCAR radio channel 90.

Erik Jones Drives the No. 20 NarcolepsyLink.com Toyota at Chicagoland Speedway

No. 20 NarcolepsyLink.com Toyota News and Notes:

  • JONES LOOKING TO CARRY MOMENTUM FROM TRUCK SERIES WIN INTO NATIONWIDE SERIES DEBUT: 18-year-old Erik Jones will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) debut behind the wheel of the No. 20 NarcolepsyLink.com Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in Saturday night’s EnjoyIllinois.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. The Michigan native will be looking to carry the momentum of his hard-fought victory in the American Ethanol 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway last Friday night into a successful debut in NASCAR’s second division this weekend. Jones, driving the No. 51 Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports, led a race-high 131 laps and held off a hard-charging Ryan Blaney in the closing laps to pick up his second career Truck Series victory in just his ninth series start. Last November at Phoenix International Raceway, Jones became the youngest winner in the history of the Truck Series when at the age of 17 years, five months and nine days old, he led a race-high 84 laps en route to the victory.
  • LUCKY SEVENTH: Jones will be the seventh different driver to make a start behind the wheel of the No. 20 Camry in 2014. Matt Kenseth has made 11 starts for the team this season, while Darrell Wallace Jr. has two starts and Kenny Habul, Sam Hornish Jr., Michael McDowell and Daniel Suarez each have made one appearance. This weekend’s event is one of three scheduled for Jones this season with the No. 20 team. He will also be behind the wheel for short track-action at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 22 and at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 8. The three-race Nationwide Series gig for JGR compliments his limited schedule in the Truck Series, where he has eight races remaining on his 12-race schedule in the No. 51 Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • JGR AT CHICAGOLAND SPEEDWAY: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has 35 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Chicagoland Speedway, with four wins, nine top-five finishes, 20 top-10 finishes, an average start of 9.3 and average finish of 11.8. The team has four poles and has led 867 laps on their way to completing 6,880 of 7,008 attempted laps (98.2%). Kyle Busch has collected three of JGR’s wins (2008, 2010 and 2013) and Joey Logano scored the other (2009).
  • POINTS UPDATE: After 17 races this season, the No. 20 Camry team currently ranks seventh in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner Point Standings, 132 points out of first. The team has produced six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 2014. Sam Hornish Jr. registered a season-best second-place result for the team at Michigan International Speedway in June.
  • KEEPING UP WITH JONES: Keep up with Jones’ latest happenings through social media on both Twitter and Instagram via @erik_jones and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ErikJonesRacing.
  • RACE INFO: The EnjoyIllinois.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, July, 19, 2014 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Watch and listen live on ESPN2, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
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Darrell Wallace, Jr. Will Drive the No. 20 ‘Share a Coke’ Toyota Camry at Daytona

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that Darrell Wallace, Jr. will pilot the No. 20 ‘Share a Coke’ Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) race at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, July 4, 2014.

The start will mark Wallace’s second NNS race of the season in the No. 20 Camry. His only other start this season was at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3. Wallace started the race from the third position behind Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Sam Hornish, Jr. and Elliott Sadler. After running the early part of the race solidly in the top 10, an incident in turn four on lap 45 collected Wallace and resulted in a disappointing 31st-place finish.

In addition to his NNS starts this season, Wallace has seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) starts this year. The NCWTS most recently competed at Gateway Motorsports Park where Wallace led a race-high 85 of 160 laps on his way to earning his second-career NCWTS win. Overall, he has compiled seven NCWTS starts this season with one win, two top-five finishes, three top-10 finishes, has led 119 laps and has an average start of 10.4 and average finish of 13.7.
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