STEWART EARNS 100TH VICTORY FOR JGR DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 15, 2007) -- Tony Stewart's win in Thursday's Gatorade Duel non-point qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway marked the 100th professional victory for Joe Gibbs ...
STEWART EARNS 100TH VICTORY FOR JGR
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 15, 2007) -- Tony Stewart's win in Thursday's Gatorade Duel non-point qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway marked the 100th professional victory for Joe Gibbs Racing.
The 16-year-old company founded by Joe Gibbs, the three-time Super Bowl winning coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, earned its milestone victory by way of 54 point-paying NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series wins, seven non-point paying Nextel Cup wins, five NASCAR Busch Series wins, 22 NHRA Top Fuel wins and 12 NHRA Funny Car wins.
"Had someone told me 16 years ago that this day would happen, that we would have 100 wins, I'd never have believed them," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "At the same time, we built this team to win. We didn't do it with parts and pieces. We did it with people. We started with 18 people when we first went to Daytona in 1992, and today we have over 400 people working on three Nextel Cup teams and two Busch Series teams. To have 100 wins is a blessing from the Lord. We take a lot of pride in it because it was a total team effort."
Dale Jarrett earned the team's first victory on racing's biggest stage when he won the 1993 Daytona 500. Jarrett went on to record the team's second victory when he won at Charlotte (N.C.) in October 1994.
Bobby Labonte replaced Jarrett in the team's vaunted No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in 1995, and during an 11-year Nextel Cup career with Joe Gibbs Racing, he made 21 trips to victory lane. (J.J. Yeley now drives the No. 18 car, a role he has had since 2006.)
Stewart, who joined the Nextel Cup Series with Gibbs in 1999 driving the No. 20 Home Depot machine, accounts for 35 wins, six of which were non-point races (1999 Winston Open at Charlotte; 2001, 2002 and 2007 Budweiser Shootouts at Daytona; and the 2005 and 2007 Gatorade Duels, also at Daytona).
Newcomer Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet and last year's Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year, contributed three wins in his first full season on the Nextel Cup tour, one of which was the non-point Budweiser Shootout.
The five Busch Series wins are spread among Labonte (one win -- Darlington, S.C., in March 1998), Mike McLaughlin (one win -- Talladega, Ala., in April 2001), Mike Bliss (one win -- Charlotte in October 2004) and Hamlin (two wins -- Mexico City in March 2006 and Darlington in May 2006).
Along with Joe Gibbs Racing's NASCAR success came success in the NHRA, where from 1995 to 2000, drivers Cory McClenathan (Top Fuel -- 22 wins), Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car -- 10 wins) and Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car -- two wins) tallied 34 victories.