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NO. 18 M&Ms PIT CREW FINDS SWEET SUCCESS

NO. 18 M&Ms Pit Crew Finds Sweet Success On Pit Road in First Quarter

 
Kyle Busch’s Over-the-Wall Team Voted First Quarter
Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew

 
The pit crew of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing has earned first-quarter honors in the 2011 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition, taking home the $5,000 quarterly prize – a sweet reward that could buy a lot of M&Ms.

The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, which is determined by a vote of each team’s crew chief, is given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award presented during Champion’s Week in Las Vegas – and the $100,000 grand prize.

This year celebrates the 10th annual Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Championship – the only authentic competition voted on by crew chiefs – as well as the safety innovator’s 20th year in the sport. Mechanix Wear, the #1 glove in racing, is the Official Glove of NASCAR® used by nearly all pit crew members in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

“I think that our M&M’s/Interstate Batteries team is the best week in and week out on pit road. It’s great to see them get the credit they deserve,” said Kyle Busch. “I say it every week – those guys win me a lot of races and get me a lot of good finishes. A big thanks to Mechanix Wear for honoring all of their hard work.”

So far, Busch and the No. 18 team have two wins, five top-fives and six top-10s. As Busch continues to perform well on the track, Dave Rogers, crew chief on the No. 18 Toyota, continues to maintain that same level of performance by keeping the pit crew at the top of its game.

“I’m proud that my guys have received this title after their continued excellence,” said Rogers. “Our team has two wins this season so far and we plan to have many more. They are some of the sport’s best and strive to continue to be.”

Members of the No. 18 M&M’s pit crew include: Nick Odell (Front Tire Changer), Brad Donaghy (Front Tire Carrier), Jake Seminara (Rear Tire Changer), Kenny Barber (Rear Tire Carrier), Jeff Fender (Jackman), and Dan Bajek (Fueler). The team’s pit crew coaches are Mike Lepp and Paul Alepa.

“A quick grip and a strong hand is crucial to any pit stop in any of the NASCAR racing series,” said Ted Abdon, Director of Racing for Mechanix Wear. “The right kind of glove not only aids with this but works as a tool to keep the pit crews safer and more efficient. We continue to strive to produce the best product available to ensure they can continue to be the best.”

Drew Herring to Drive No.20 Sport Clips

Joe Gibbs Racing Announces Drew Herring To Drive No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Sunday in Iowa Nationwide Series Race
 
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 16, 2011) – Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that Drew Herring will pilot the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Iowa this Sunday, May 22.

Herring, 23, has made four career starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with all four outings coming last season. His career-best finish came at Iowa Speedway in 2010 when he finished on the lead lap and posted a 15th-place finish.

“This is a great opportunity for me to run for Joe Gibbs Racing in Iowa this weekend,” said Herring. “The 20 team is competing for the Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship and it’s exciting to be part of those efforts. Iowa is a place I’ve had the chance to race before and I’m fairly comfortable with the track so hopefully we’ll give Sport Clips a great day.”

JGR’s Denny Hamlin, part of the Nationwide Series No. 20 team of drivers, is familiar with Herring from their days of racing Late Models together.

“I have known Drew and raced with him for a long time,” said Hamlin. “We used to compete in Late Models together so I know what he can do behind the wheel. He’s a talented driver and good guy, I am happy he has this opportunity to get into good equipment at JGR and show what he can do.”

Herring began his racing career at the age of 10 years old while running in the Bandolero series at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In three years he started 60 races on the Bandolero Series and totaled 20 victories and 57 top-five finishes.

Herring would move up to the Allison Legacy ranks in 2001 making 11 starts with five top-five finishes and seven top tens. A year later it was on to racing Late Models. He would win the South Boston Speedway Championship in 2006 winning nine of the final 13 races of the season. Herring would follow that performance with seven victories and 21 top-five finishes in 29 races at Southern National Raceway in 2007 to claim both the regular season championship and the Championship Series Championship.

Herring would claim Rookie of the Year honor while racing in the Pro Cup Series in 2008 with seven top-ten finishes in 13 races. He also has experience at Iowa Speedway in the Pro Cup Series, having won the pole there in 2009 and earning a second-place finish.

Herring is a native of Benson, NC and is currently completing his degree in mechanical engineering at NC State University.

For more information on Drew Herring, visit his website at: www.drewherring.net

Max Gresham Puts Wraps On Birthday Weekend Tripleheader

GRIFFIN, GA (May 4, 2011) – Three races in four days along a birthday and an anniversary made last weekend one that Max Gresham will never forget.

Gresham competed in the NASCAR K&N event and the Denny Hamlin Short-Track Showdown in Richmond, VA on Thursday before heading to Salem, IN for an ARCA race Sunday. Along the way, Gresham celebrated his 18th birthday and saluted his grandparents 50th-wedding anniversary.

When asked if the whole experience had worn him out right after Sunday’s ARCA race, Gresham responded “no, I’m fine, let’s go again somewhere.”

You couldn’t blame Gresham if he was just at least a little tired.

At Richmond, Gresham spent more than eight hours in a racecar and sped on foot between garage areas throughout the day.

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The results were spectacular as Gresham wheeled the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to the pole position, led nearly half the race, and finished fourth in the Blue Ox 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event.

“We had an awesome lap to win the pole – two-tenths of a second faster than anyone else,” said Gresham. “It carried over into the race where we led a bunch and were fast over the first 60 laps. We ran in the top two the whole race until the car fell off really bad at the end. The finish definitely helped us in the points. Any top-five finish we can get is going to help us in the points at the end of the season.”

The solid effort jumped Gresham to seventh in the K&N East standings after three races – just 65 markers out of first.

The soon to be Woodward Academy high school graduate had little time to catch his breath as he immediately jumped into the No. 71 FedEx Freight/ARGO Group Toyota for the Hamlin ‘Showdown’ event. The race, which featured top NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Tony Stewart, Bill Elliott, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Hamlin, saw Gresham rocket from his eighth starting position to swapping the lead several times with Busch, the sport’s current top star at the race’s halfway point.

Gresham saw his shot at winning the race go up in smoke when a crash not of his making while running fourth with less than 10 laps to go saddled him with a 14th-place finish.

“It was great racing Kyle for the lead,” said Gresham. “I absolutely love Richmond. You can really have fun doing the kind of side-by-side racing that Kyle and I did. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we wanted, but our FedEX Freight/ARGO Group Toyota was definitely the fastest car here tonight. I really have to thank Jamie Yelton and Fat Head Racing for that. I had a blast, a really amazing day. I can’t wait to come back here to Richmond and race again.”

After a half-day back in his native Georgia to regroup, Gresham flew to Indiana to make his 2011 ARCA Series debut in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 at Salem Speedway. There, Gresham drove to the front by the halfway point of the race and was running fifth with a fresh set of tires waiting for him in the Venturini Motorsports pit box when a tangle with a lapped car severely damaged his No. 25 Gresham & Associates Toyota Camry.

Undaunted, the Venturini crew repaired the car in time to get Gresham back on track for a respectable 15th-place finish.
“We had a good run going and got swept up into somebody else’s mess,” said Gresham. “We led some early in the race. These Venturini Motorsports guys put a great car under me. They set up two great race cars today – one won and the other one should have won. I can’t wait to drive one of their cars again.

“This weekend was good for me,” Gresham concluded. “It showed I could drive three different cars on three different days. Hopefully, I can one day be like Kyle (Busch) and run three different cars every weekend. I can do it physically. Maybe after this weekend, some other people will see that in me.”

Gresham will now hit the testing trail with sessions at Bowman Gray Stadium , the site of an upcoming June 4 NASCAR K&N event, and he will also get some testing in at Michigan Speedway on Wednesday, May 25. The Jackson, MI two-mile oval will be the site of Gresham’s career superspeedway debut as he will wheel the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports Toyota in the ARCA RainEater Wiper Blades 200 on June 17.

Gresham’s next K&N race will be on Saturday, May 21 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA. He and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota are the defending champions of the event.

To see photo galleries of Max Gresham’s weekend at Richmond and Salem, please visit the Images section of www.MaxGresham.com.

Max Gresham post-race videos from Richmond and Salem can be viewed on the YouTube section of www.MaxGresham.com.

You can also follow Max Gresham on Twitter @Max Gresham and on Facebook at Max Gresham Fan Page.

Gresham to Haul FedEx Freight in Short-Track Showdown

Max Gresham To Haul The Freight For FedEx In Denny Hamlin Short-Track Showdown At Richmond

Max Gresham hopes he can absolutely, positively haul the freight as part of Team FedEx for Denny Hamlin’s Fourth-Annual Short-Track Showdown at Richmond (VA) International Raceway on Thursday, April 28.

Gresham will join NASCAR Sprint Cup star Hamlin, NASCAR Nationwide Series great Curtis Markham, and NASCAR K&N Pro Series rival Darrell Wallace, Jr. as one of the four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers sponsored by FedEx in the race.

“It’s going to be awesome to have FedEx on board and be part of Team FedEx for this race,” said Gresham, who will pilot the No. 71 FedEx Freight Late Model Stock Car in the event. “It’s going to be a big night for everyone, especially the fans and all the charities that benefit from the Denny Hamlin Foundation.”

Meanwhile, Hamlin will race the FedEx Express colors in the race while Markham will be decked out with a FedEx Office paint job. Wallace, Jr. will complete the quartet of FedEx supported cars in the charity event with FedEx Ground decals.

FedEx Corporation provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx employs more than 275,000 employees and contractors worldwide. FedEx Corporation provides strategic direction and consolidated financial reporting for the operating companies that compete collectively under the FedEx name worldwide: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Office, FedEx Custom Critical, FedEx Trade Networks, FedEx SupplyChain and FedEx Services.

To learn more about FedEx, please visit www.FedEx.com.

The Fourth Annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown will feature to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano and 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne. All the competitors – including Gresham – will be driving Late Model Stock Cars in the event.

“This is a really big deal for me,” said Gresham, who will also drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota stocker in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Blue Ox 100 at Richmond earlier in the day. “I get to race with all the big names in NASCAR before my 18th birthday. To get a head start and be able to race against those guys is going to be great. I’m looking forward to going to Richmond International Raceway and running a Late Model there. It’s going to be real fast. It’s going to wide open and I am really looking forward to it.”

Hamlin’s Short-Track Showdown will benefit The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Richmond, VA, Victory Junction Gang Camp and the NASCAR Foundation.

The Fourth-Annual Denny Hamlin Short-Track Showdown from Richmond will be telecast live on SPEED at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, April 28.

For more information about – or to make a donation to – the Denny Hamlin Foundation, please log on to www.dennyhamlinfoundation.com.

For more information about Max Gresham, please access www.MaxGresham.com. You can also follow Max Gresham on Twitter @Max Gresham and on Facebook at Max Gresham Fan Page.

Additional information about the Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR K&N Pro Series effort can be viewed at www.JoeGibbsRacing.com.

Kelly Bires to drive for JGR

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 14, 2011) – Joe Gibbs Racing, Inc. announced today that Kelly Bires will drive two races for its No. 18 NASCAR Nationwide Series team as part of a partnership with International Comfort Products, LLC (“ICP”), a leader in the heating and cooling systems industry, with its brands Arcoaire®, Comfortmaker®, Day & Night®, Heil®, Keeprite®, and Tempstar® brands.

Bires will be behind the wheel of JGR’s No. 18 Toyota on April 29 at Richmond International Raceway and June 4 at Chicagoland Speedway.

“We look forward to having Kelly and ICP on board with us in Richmond and Chicago,” said J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Kelly is a driver with a bright future in our sport and the 18 team is excited to have him on board as they compete for their third straight Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship.”

Bires is in his fifth season driving in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with three top-five and 12 top-ten finishes in 82 career starts. He has made four starts so far in 2011. Bires has five career starts in Richmond with a best finish of 11th in 2009 and has made three career starts in Chicago with a best finish of 12th during the 2008 season.

“This is exactly the type of partnership ICP needs to build its relationships with our dealers,” Brian Cash, Marketing Manager, with ICP explained. “Kelly is a terrific young man and fantastic shoe in the car. Like our dealers, he has earned his way through every step of his career; we feel he represents our company and our customers well. ICP was founded on a standard of excellence and Kelly shares those same values with us.”

This is Bires fourth year of involvement with ICP and also marks the reunion of ICP with Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff. “Jason was the crew chief for Casey Atwood in 1999, our first year of involvement in NASCAR.” stated Edward Winston, Area Sales Manager with ICP, “Jason brought us to the winner circle back then, hopefully we will be back there again!.

“I’m thrilled to continue the partnership with ICP and have this opportunity to race for JGR,” said Bires. “ICP and its dealers have stuck with me through the tough times and I am really looking forward to a good run with the No. 18 team. Obviously this team has experienced a lot of success over the past few years and it’s exciting to have a chance to contribute to their season.”

About International Comfort Products, LLC
International Comfort Products, LLC, is a leading North American manufacturer of quality residential and light commercial gas furnaces, split-system air conditioners, package air conditioners, split-system heat pumps, package heat pumps, package gas/electric combination units and oil furnaces. Major brands include Heil®, Tempstar®, Comfortmaker®, Arcoaire®, KeepRite® and Day & Night™.

For more information about ICP and its products and services, visit www.icpusa.com.