Eyeing the Checked Flag Early: Team Preps for the 2015 NASCAR Season
HUNTERSVILLE, NC -- Aug. 21, 2014: – Even with three solid months of racing left in the 2014 NASCAR season, Toyota team Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is getting ready for 2015.
This week the team announced they’ll add a fourth Sprint Cup Series Camry to the lineup next year with two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) runner-up Carl Edwards. The 35-year-old driver has 23 NSCS victories and is the 2007 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) champion.
“It’s a thrill for us to get a chance to add Carl to our team,” says Joe Gibbs, the former NFL Washington Redskins coach who led the team to three Super Bowl championships before forming Joe Gibbs Racing in 1992. “When you think about next year – I know we have a lot to take care of this year and all four of these guys are going to try to win a championship – and our team and driver lineup with Carl, Denny [Hamlin], Matt [Kenseth] and Kyle [Busch}, I’m going to be so excited to go to the race track. It’s going to be a big deal for us next year.”
JGR also adds young up-and-coming driver Daniel Suarez for 2015. He’ll be the first Mexican-born driver to compete full-time in the Nationwide Series. Suarez currently leads the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series point standings after winning four of 10 races this season. He also runs a partial schedule in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he won the first two races of the season.
“Daniel is just great,” says J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “He’s a neat guy to get to know and it’s been fun. He has a great future ahead of him. He’s already raced in one of our Nationwide races and did a great job and we’re proud of him and confident he’ll have an immediate impact in the Nationwide Series.”
Since 2008, JGR has been responsible for more than 85 percent of the Toyota NSCS victories (56 of 65 total). Almost half of the organization’s 114 NSCS wins have come in the last seven seasons in Camry race cars. JGR driver Busch earned Toyota’s first NSCS victory when his Camry crossed the finish-line first at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2008.
Numbers in the NNS tell a similar story – 90 percent of the Toyota NNS victories (87 of 96 total) have been earned by JGR and all but six of the team’s wins in NASCAR’s second-tier series have come in Camry race cars. They’ve also won one NNS driver’s championship (Busch in 2009) and four owner’s championships (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012).
“We wouldn’t be here and most of the things in the JGR race shop wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Toyota,” says Gibbs. “They’ve been a great partner for us and they’re competitive – they want to win and they want to sell Toyotas and they want to be up front. We really appreciate Toyota.”