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JGR Development Driver Cody Coughlin Turns Heads at Berlin

If you were not at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan on Saturday night, you missed an impressive performance. Track announcers hailed the run of 19 year-old Cody Coughlin as he marched from a 23rd starting spot and into contention for victory at the closing stages of the Berlin 125 for the ARCA / CRA Super Series.

The Joe Gibbs Development driver proved that you can overcome adversity throughout the day. Berlin had been a sore-spot to Coughlin in the few times he has raced their in his young career. After qualifying it did not get any better for Team JEGS. Coughlin timed in eighth quick, but crew chief Nick Easton pulled the car out of the impounded area to help improve the car for the main event. By doing so, Coughlin was relegated to start at the rear of the field.

Methodically Coughlin picked his way through the field and under the direction of spotter Scott Wimmer, Coughlin moved his way into the top 15 by lap 21, then top 10 on lap 33 and eventually the top five. Coughlin did not settle; he was pushing for third when another driver snuck by him in the battle and the Delaware, Ohio native wound up fifth as the checkered flag fell.

“I will tell you, I haven’t been this happy about a fifth place finish in a long time,” exclaimed Coughlin after the race. “We really have struggled here at Berlin over the past few years and didn’t finish in the top 20. We didn’t qualify well and pulled it out of the impound area to work on it and got it better. I am very pleased with our run.”

“We had a good car tonight and I think things went our way after the bad luck we had earlier in the day,” added Coughlin. “I really have to thank God for that. Also, I have to thank God for a safe race tonight. He really blessed us with a strong finish here at Berlin.”

Along with the crew, Cody celebrated his strong run with his parents, John & Di, and his sister Kennedi.

“It was great to have them there tonight and I know they were happy with how we came through the field,” Coughlin said. “It was also awesome to have other drivers, crew members and fans come up and congratulate us afterwards on our strong run. That really capped off our fun night.”

Coughlin will now head to New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey this weekend for his first attempt at road course racing with the ARCA Racing Series on Sunday, May 24 at 1:30pm ET.

For more information on Cody Coughlin and Team JEGS, visit www.teamjegs.com and follow Cody on Twitter, @cody_coughlin. You can also follow Team JEGS on Twitter, @TeamJEGS and “Like” JEGS Performance on Facebook.

David Ragan Will Fill in For Kyle Busch in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Behind Wheel of No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota Starting in Atlanta

Kyle Busch Transferred To Charlotte Area Hospital

Erik Jones Will Pilot No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota In NASCAR XFINITY Series in Atlanta

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (February 24, 2015) – Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that David Ragan will fill in for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Kyle Busch was released this morning from Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, FL and transferred to a hospital near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina for further treatment. Busch sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg in an accident during Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident.

No specific timetable has been announced for Busch’s return to the race track. It is expected that Ragan will pilot the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota for at least the next several weeks. Ragan’s current race team Front Row Motorsports and sponsor CSX accommodated the move by Ragan and Ragan is expected to return to the team later this season.

Additional updates on Busch’s condition will be provided as necessary.

In addition, JGR announces that Erik Jones will pilot the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend in Atlanta. An announcement on who will drive the Monster Energy Camry following Atlanta will be made at a later date.

Ragan has run eight full seasons in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 291 career starts. The 29-year-old Georgia native has two career wins, including most recently at Talladega Superspeedway in May of 2013.

Jones is currently running a full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports and a partial schedule for JGR in the No. 20 NASCAR XFINITY Series Camry.

“We appreciate being able to work with Front Row Motorsports and CSX for David’s (Ragan) availability,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “We are fortunate to be able to have someone of David’s caliber behind the wheel while Kyle recovers. Erik is a big part of our future at JGR and we will be increasing his schedule in the XFINITY Series beginning this weekend in Atlanta and seeking the earliest opportunity to provide him Cup experience. We appreciate all the support we have received from the NASCAR community including our fans and we look forward to getting Kyle back in the car as soon as possible.”

“Everyone at Mars is thankful that Kyle is doing well and we continue to wish him a speedy recovery,” said William Clements, vice president of sponsorship and sports marketing for Mars Incorporated. “While we can’t wait until Kyle returns behind the wheel of the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota, we are excited to work with David and we’re pleased JGR was able to work it out for him to step in during Kyle’s absence.”

Statement from Joe Gibbs Racing Regarding Injury Status of Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg in an accident during Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Additionally, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident.

Busch was transported to a local hospital for treatment immediately following the accident and is currently undergoing surgery on his right leg.

Busch’s injuries will sideline him for an undetermined period of time. Veteran Matt Crafton will serve as the interim driver for Busch’s No. 18 Toyota during Sunday’s 57th Daytona 500. An interim driver has not been determined for the following race March 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, or for any future races.

Race Report: Dover

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All three Joe Gibbs Racing entries raced their way into the second round of The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship during today’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Matt Kenseth led the way with a fifth-place finish, while Kyle Busch took the checkered flag in 10th and Denny Hamlin crossed the line in 12th.

Kenseth started his No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota in the 14th position and was able to race his way toward the top ten over the course of the opening green flag run. He was running ninth at the 100-lap mark and great work by his pit crew under caution would help him enter the top five where he ran at lap 150. He would restart third on lap 176 and was fourth at lap 200. Kenseth would pit under the green flag on lap 251 and cycled through in fifth when a caution came out on lap 254. He would remain out on the track and fell three spots on the restart as the inside lane struggled all day to get started. Despite tight handling conditions on his Home Depot Camry Kenseth would hold the seventh position with 100 laps to go. He would come down pit road under the green flag on lap 328 and cycled through to run sixth. He would gain another spot to earn a top five finish and lock in his spot to advance into the top 12.

Busch started the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota in second and settled in to run inside the top five over the course of the opening green flag run. A lap 125 caution would bring Busch down pit road for the second time on the day and he would lose several positions when he was blocked by the 2 car and missed his pit box. He would have to back into the box and the extra time on pit road would leave Busch to restart 17th. He would use a tremendous three wide move on the ensuing restart to vault all the way into the top ten again. He was running ninth on lap 150. Busch would restart in the top five on lap 176 and was sixth at lap 200. He was running fourth following a round of green flag pit stops when a caution came out on lap 254. He would remain on the track and jumped into second on the ensuing restart. Busch ran third with 100 laps to go. Busch would come down pit road under the green flag on lap 329 and cycled through in the seventh position. He would go on to finish 10th and secure his place in the next round of The Chase.

Hamlin started his No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota from the third position and was patient through the opening green flag run as he settled in to run sixth. His pit crew would pick him up several positions during the opening round of stops and Hamlin restarted fourth. He would gain a spot to run third when the next caution came out on lap 76. Hamlin would race just outside the top five for the remainder of the first half of the race. He would run seventh at lap 200. Hamlin would fall back to 10th before a round of green flag pit stops started at lap 248. When the field finished cycling through he was in seventh before a caution came out on lap 254. He would hold that spot through the next restart and was running eighth with 100 laps remaining. Hamlin came down pit road on lap 328 during a round of green flag stops and cycled through in the 11th position before moving back into 10th on lap 340. He lost a spot again to run 11th with 35 to go. Hamlin would hold off the leader Jeff Gordon over the final green flag run to remain on the lead lap and earn a 12th-place finish and earn his spot in the next round of the Chase.

Jeff Gordon won the race followed by Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, and Kenseth rounded out the top five. There were five cautions for a total of 23 laps and 10 lead changes among seven different drivers.

With today’s results Busch, Kenseth and Hamlin advance to the Contender round under the new Chase format. The points reset and the final 12 enter Kansas Speedway tied for the first of three races before the field is narrowed again to the Eliminator 8 round following the race at Talladega Superspeedway. Ultimately a final Championship 4 will race for the Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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