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Tifft to Run Full XFINITY Series Season in 2017

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today Ohio-native Matt Tifft will pilot a Toyota Camry full-time in 2017, across all 33 races of the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The 20-year old rookie, a part-time driver currently in the Joe Gibbs Racing stable, who accomplished his first top-five result and first pole-qualifying run in only nine races in 2016, has now earned a larger opportunity to compete in NASCAR’s XFINIY series, appropriately themed “Names are Made Here.”

Tifft has run a limited schedule in both the XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series over the last three seasons, making a combined 31-career starts. In these early stages of his career Tifft has recorded one top-five and eight top-10 finishing spots in the Camping World Tuck Series and one top-five, five top-10 finishes and a pole-qualifying position in the XFINITY Series. Tifft has also recorded time in NASCAR’s K&N Pro West, K&N Pro East and ARCA Series and the X-1R Pro Cup Series.

Tifft made his first career XFNITY Series start and first entry with JGR at Kentucky Speedway in 2015 earning an impressive 10th-place finish in his debut.

His racing career would take a detour in 2016 when in June of this year a low-grade glioma in his brain was discovered during routine evaluations for some back pain. In July the young driver had surgery to remove the benign tumor and began rehabilitation. By August the strong rookie was working his way back to driving a consumer vehicle and in September he returned to NASCAR competition with the Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway. One week later he was back with JGR in the XFINITY Series at Kentucky Speedway, ironically the same track where he accomplished his initial series start. Tifft’s fast return from brain surgery to on-track racing yielded 12th place and fifth-place results respectively. The Kentucky run was Tifft’s first top-five finish of his young XFINITY Series career.

“It has been an incredible year and I am honored to have the opportunity to continue working with Joe Gibbs Racing in the 2017 season. I’ve always wanted the chance to contend for a championship with the Chase for the Championship program, I am thrilled to be with JGR and know they will be instrumental in my career. Through my health challenges this year and while I have continued to learn and improve my driving skills, Coach Gibbs, the staff, and veteran drivers here have mentored me and I look forward to the opportunity to be around them now for a full season,” remarked an appreciative Tifft.

In addition, JGR announces that Matt Beckman will serve as crew chief for Tifft and team in 2017. Beckman currently serves as the race engineer under crew chief Mike Wheeler with the No. 11 Sprint Cup Series Toyota team. Beckman joined JGR in 2007 as an engineer with the race team support group and was promoted to manager of the group in 2014 before becoming race engineer on the No. 19 Sprint Cup Series Toyota team in 2015. He holds an undergraduate degree from Michigan Tech and earned his master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and I’m excited to work with Matt (Tifft),” said Beckman. “Joe Gibbs Racing has had incredible success for many years now in the XFINITY Series and I know the organization takes immense pride in those accomplishments. You don’t have to look any further than JGR’s Cup Series crew chief lineup to realize the tradition they established at JGR and I’m honored to become a part of it starting next season.”

Tifft’s 2016 XFINITY Series schedule afforded him the opportunity to compete in eight races to date, which yielded one top-five, four top-10 finishes, a first pole capture and 23 laps led. The rookie has two scheduled races remaining on the 2016 XFINITY Series schedule, this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and in two weeks at the season-ending Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway.

Tifft further described next year’s opportunity, “I am very excited to work with a new crew chief and look forward to building on my race experience alongside Matt (Beckman). I know I have two more races to finish this year, but 2017 is right around the corner, and I can’t wait to get started in Daytona!”

JGR has history of developing young drivers with Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez most recently achieving success in their program.

“We look forward to continued development with Matt (Tifft) over this next race season,” said Executive Vice President of XFINITY Series Operations and Development Steve DeSouza. “He’s shown strength through adversity and a strong willingness to advance his performance level for a long-term career in racing. JGR has enjoyed watching young drivers such as Erik (Jones) and Daniel (Suarez) move through our system and build experience that is yielding them positive results on the racetrack. With the championship caliber NASCAR Sprint Cup Series programs, drivers and personnel to draw from here, these young competitors continue to grow. I know Matt will take full advantage of this continued opportunity.”

When he’s not improving his race skills to become a veteran NASCAR driver, Tifft is also a second-year student at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, as a business management major.

Primary sponsorship across the 33 designated races with Tifft and the assigned car number will be further developed and announced at a later date.

Daniel Suarez & ARRIS Racing Win the XFINITY Championship!

Post-Race Highlights:

  • · Making his second-career NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) start at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday afternoon, Daniel Suárez earned the pole and went on to lead a race-high 133 laps en route to his third NXS victory in 2016 and his first-career NXS Driver’s Championship.
  • · With his win, Suárez becomes the first Latin American Driver to win a NASCAR National Series title.
  • · Suárez was followed to the checkered flag by Ty Dillion, Elliott Sadler, Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillion
  • · Suárez finished the 2016 campaign with three wins, 19 top-five finishes, 27 top-10 results and three pole positions in his second season in the series.
  • · Suarez’ three wins this season, including his first career NXS victory at Michigan International Speedway (June 11), followed by first-place trophy at Dover International Speedway (October 2) and the season-finale at Homestead Miami Speedway
  • · Suarez’s title marks the second driver’s championship for Toyota in the XFINITY Series with fellow Toyota driver Kyle Busch earning the title in 2009.
  • · Suarez’s win also captured the 2016 manufacture’s championship for Toyota Racing.

DANIEL SUAREZ, No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How does it feel to win your first NASCAR championship and all the interviews you will have to do?
“Honestly I don’t mind doing all the interviews in the world. I’m just so happy for my team, so happy for my family who is here and a lot of friends, the sponsors – ARRIS, Interstate Batteries, Juniper, DeWALT, Coca-Cola, Toyota – everyone who has helped for this to happen and to be here right now.”

What does this mean to you and your family?
“It’s very hard to put into words. I’m speechless right now. I’m just very proud of everyone and thankful to have the family that I have – my mom, my dad. They gave me all the tools to be here right now. They put me in a car even when we didn’t have the support or the racing background. They supported me and right now we are just living a dream.”

What kind of champion are you going to be?
“I just love NASCAR. When I was racing all over the world with TelMex Racing and they told me about NASCAR and thought I had the opportunity in stock car racing.”

Cody Coughlin the First to Win Dual CRA Championships

WINCHESTER, IN – Cody Coughlin has made history. The Joe Gibbs Racing Development driver is the first to win both Champion Racing Associations Late Model touring series championships in a single season.

With a fifth-place finish in Sunday’s Winchester 400 in Indiana, Coughlin clinched the 2016 ARCA/CRA Super Series championship. Friday he dominated the JEGS / CRA All-Stars Tour event until mechanical woes end the night early. He has built up a sufficient cushion in the standings that the minor bump in the road has no outcome in the final results and his second Tour title in that particular series.

Sunday’s race was the most difficult of Coughlin’s season. The already challenging Winchester 400 event became even more challenging after Coughlin slapped the turn four wall near the halfway mark of the marathon race. His JEGS.com Toyota Camry suffered enough damage to make the car hard to drive, but Coughlin never gave up.

The 20-year-old driver ran a conservative race from that point forward to ensure that the championship would be his.

Coughlin dropped as low as 13th, but his crew kept encouraging him all race long. Eventually, the cars ahead of him started to have trouble and Coughlin rebounded to another top-five finish to close out the season.

“This feels awesome,” Coughlin said. “We had a bit of a sloppy race today, but we kept digging and got the job done. We worked so hard all year long, so to get this championship just feels amazing.”

The Delaware, Ohio native finished the 2016 ARCA/CRA Super Series season with four wins, nine top-five finishes, and 10 top-10 finishes. Add in the two triumphs from the JEGS / CRA All-Stars Tour and Coughlin racked up six Late Models victories this season.

“It is so cool to say that we are the first team to win both the Super Series and JEGS Tour championships in one season,” said Coughlin. “This team just worked so hard all season long. Jack (Smith, crew chief), Kevin (Hamlin, team manager), Scott (Wimmer, spotter), Dave (Holt, crew member) Jon (Ziti, crew member) and everybody that helped us at any point this season worked so hard each and every race. I am so thankful for everybody that helped us get to this point, including my parents (Di and John) for how much love and support they give me each and every day. I also am so thankful for my sister, Kennedi for coming to almost every race. She’s awesome, and I am so blessed by our Lord to have all of them as my family.”

For more information on Cody Coughlin and Team JEGS, visit www.teamjegs.com and follow Cody on Twitter, @Cody_Coughlin. Follow Team JEGS on Twitter, @TeamJEGS, and “Like” JEGS Performance on Facebook. Also be sure to check out Cody’s new website, www.codycoughlin.com. Any other inquiries for Cody Coughlin can be sent to Bob Dillner via email at bd51sports@gmail.com.

TIDE RETURNS TO NASCAR AT BOJANGLES’ SOUTHERN 500

Tide and Joe Gibbs Racing announced today they will bring back one of the most iconic brands in the history of NASCAR for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 4. Tide’s unforgettable orange and yellow paint scheme has been reborn as a more powerful Tide PODS Toyota Camry, and will be driven by Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth. This potent combination of the new Tide PODS entry and Kenseth will pay homage to the rich history of Tide while exemplifying the strength and evolution of the brand.

For 20 years, an entire generation of racing fans cheered for the iconic “Tide Ride.” Driven by some of the sport’s legendary figures, including Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and Ricky Craven, the car amassed 20 total wins from 1987 to 2006. Each driver contributed a fabled chapter to the Tide Ride story—Waltrip’s famous victory lane dance following his Daytona 500 win in 1989; Rudd gutting out a win at the 1997 Brickyard 400; and Craven capturing the closest win in the sport’s history (.002 seconds) at Darlington in 2003.

“With Tide celebrating its 70th anniversary as a brand, there’s no better time to return to our roots in NASCAR for the Southern 500, and introduce a new generation of fans to the powerful new Tide PODS car,” said Amy Krehbiel, Brand Manager for Tide. “Matt Kenseth’s track record has proven him to be the type of commanding talent that we’re proud to align with the Tide PODS brand.”
As the newest driver to compete for Tide, Matt Kenseth brings nearly 20 years of experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including 38 wins and the 2003 series championship.

“Tide has such a rich history in this sport,” said Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry. “I can’t think of a better race to make their return to NASCAR than for the Southern 500. I’m looking forward to being a part of the second annual throwback weekend, and am proud to represent such an iconic brand. There have been many great moments associated with Tide and its former talented drivers; I’m honored to continue the legacy with Tide PODS at Darlington.”

Tide will also serve as an associate sponsor on the remaining three Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards for the Labor Day weekend event. Additionally, the Nos. 18, 19 and 20 entries will carry Tide as an associate for the following two events at Chicagoland Speedway and Richmond International Raceway.

Both Tide and Joe Gibbs Racing are also celebrating substantial company anniversaries this year, further strengthening the significance of the partnership and return of the iconic brand to NASCAR for these select events.

“This is a thrill for us,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Not only is this a throwback paint scheme that we know the fans will be excited for, but it is with a sponsor that has a tremendous history in our sport. This is our 25th Anniversary season at Joe Gibbs Racing and I know it is the 70th Anniversary of Tide. They really are a historic brand in our country and their new partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing for Darlington is a real honor.”

Fans can follow @JoeGibbsRacing and @MattKenseth on Twitter for exclusive content featuring Matt Kenseth and much more, as well as live updates during the Bojangles’ Southern 500. Kenseth and the No. 20 Tide PODS Toyota Camry will hit the Darlington Raceway track surface on Sunday, September 4, with live coverage on NBC beginning at 6:00 pm ET.

DEWALT Announces Expanded Partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and Matt Kenseth

DEWALT Increases Primary Sponsorship for Both the 2016 and 2017 Seasons

DEWALT Tools have the speed, strength, and toughness for the world’s hardest jobs. That’s why we are proud to announce an expanded partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). DEWALT’s expanded partnership reflects our confidence that JGR and No. 20 Toyota Camry driver, Matt Kenseth, have the speed, power, and reliability to win on the track.

DEWALT has added four races to their 2016 primary sponsorship aboard the No. 20 Toyota Camry driven by Matt Kenseth for the upcoming races at Chicago, Dover, Kansas, and Homestead. DEWALT also announces that it will provide primary sponsorship for a total of six races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for 2016 with drivers Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez. Beginning with the 2017 season, DEWALT will take over the primary sponsorship for the majority of races on the No. 20 Toyota Camry in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.

Along with the expanded schedule of primary paint schemes, DEWALT also has associate branding on the No. 20 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series whenever they are not already serving as the primary sponsor.

This partnership comes at a perfect time as DEWALT recently launched their breakthrough DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ system, which includes a radical new battery technology that will transform the power tools space. The proprietary battery technology platform provides users with multiple voltage outputs from a single DEWALT battery pack – 20V MAX*, 60V MAX*, and 120V MAX* when two 60V MAX* batteries are combined – thus giving users the power of corded with the freedom of cordless. Learn more about the DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ system and DEWALT’s continual breakthrough innovation at DEWALT.com.

DEWALT will have primary sponsorship with two cars this weekend at Daytona International Speedway to promote this launch. A special DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ paint scheme will appear on the No. 20 Toyota of Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well as the No. 20 Toyota of Erik Jones in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

“We’re thrilled to continue to work with Joe Gibbs Racing as NASCAR and DEWALT share a lot of commonalities,” said Scott Bannell, Vice President for Corporate Brand Marketing, Stanley Black & Decker. “Our DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ launch ties perfectly to the power and freedom exemplified by racing.”

DEWALT will utilize NASCAR and JGR as one of the primary platforms to advocate the DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ message. “This is a multifaceted program.” said Tony Merritt, Director of Motorsports, Stanley Black & Decker. “This is more than on-track visibility; it is a pillar of our end-user engagement strategy including trackside demos to get the products in the consumer’s hands, unique content for our digital platforms, and VIP hospitality to host our customers. Our end-user advocates are passionate about motorsports and we will leverage this partnership to interact with them digitally as well as in person at the races.”

“This an exciting day for us at Joe Gibbs Racing and for NASCAR,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “We are honored to be a part of what is really a historic announcement with the product launch of the DEWALT FLEXVOLT™ system and put in place an agreement that will continue our partnership for years to come.”

“I think it’s great that we will be able to see the DEWALT Toyota on track this year for additional races in both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series, as well as knowing that DEWALT will be on our No. 20 Camry for the majority of our 2017 races as well,” said Matt Kenseth, “I’ve been so fortunate to be able to reunite with DEWALT these past two seasons, and knowing that we’ll be together for even longer, is really fantastic news for all of us at JGR.”

Kenseth is currently 10th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings following last Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway. So far in 2016, Kenseth has accrued one win, two top-five, six top-ten finishes, and has led for a total of 429 laps. The two-time DAYTONA 500 Champion and 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion has enjoyed over 13 years partnered with DEWALT throughout his career. Kenseth earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2000 and also earned his first Sprint Cup Series win with DEWALT as a primary sponsor.

*Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20, 60 and 120 volts. Nominal voltage is 18, 54 and 108. 12V MAX is based on using 2 DEWALT 60V MAX* lithium-ion batteries combined.