Joe Gibbs' drivers mark new milestone for the team

Joe Gibbs Racing Drivers Make History on Saturday HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (April 10, 2005) - With three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers winning their three respective races yesterday, April 9 marked yet another milestone in Joe Gibbs Racing's ongoing ...

Joe Gibbs Racing Drivers Make History on Saturday

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (April 10, 2005) - With three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers winning their three respective races yesterday, April 9 marked yet another milestone in Joe Gibbs Racing's ongoing 14-year history.

Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series undercard race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

The 2000 Cup Series champion drove his #47 Morgan-Dollar Chevrolet All-Stars Silverado to the win in only his fifth career Craftsman Truck Series start, becoming just the 12th driver to win in all three of NASCAR's top divisions. The victory also made history in that Labonte became the first driver to win a race at the same track in all three divisions. Labonte won a NASCAR Busch Series race at Martinsville in Oct. 1992 and a Cup Series race at the half-mile track in April 2002.

Following Labonte's Saturday triumph were Joe Gibbs Racing's diversity drivers Chris Bristol and Aric Almirola. The two Late Model drivers competing in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series won their respective races at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.

Bristol, in his #92 MBNA Chevrolet with associate sponsorship from Rockwell Automation and Cintas, started fifth in Hickory's 50-lap Late Model race and ended the race in first, becoming the first African-American driver to win in Hickory's 55-year history. The win also placed the 27-year-old Bristol in a three-way tie for first in the track's championship point standings.

Almirola, in his #92 Home Depot Chevrolet with associate sponsorship from Rockwell Automation and Cintas, started sixth in the Motor Mile's 150-lap Late Model feature and finished first. It was the 20-year-old's first win of the 2005 season and his second top-three finish at Motor Mile. The Hispanic driver from Tampa, Fla., finished third in the March 19 Doughton Racing Products 300.

Last year, Almirola competed at the .4-mile Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C., recording two wins, six top-fives and 15 top-10s. And Bristol raced at the .455-mile Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, N.C., earning a win, three poles, nine top-fives and 19 top-10s en route to rookie of the year honors.

In 2005, Almirola moved from being a regular Late Model driver at Ace Speedway to campaign his Home Depot Chevrolet at big Late Model races throughout the Southeast. Bristol, meanwhile, moved to the .363-mile Hickory oval to compete regularly in that track's Late Model program. Both cars are carrying the number 92 in tribute to the late Reggie White, co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing's diversity program. The #92 is the number White wore throughout his football career, playing at the University of Tennessee before becoming a Hall of Fame defensive end in the National Football League.

Also of note on Saturday was the seventh-place finish of 23-year-old Woody Howard in Saturday night's USAR Hooter's Pro Cup race at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. Howard, Joe Gibbs Racing's recently signed development driver, started his first career Hooter's Pro Cup race in his Dean Motorsports entry from the outside pole before finishing a solid seventh in the 250-lap race.

About Joe Gibbs Racing:
Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, currently fielding three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams for drivers Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Jason Leffler, and two NASCAR Busch Series teams for drivers J.J. Yeley and Denny Hamlin.

Based in Huntersville, N.C., and owned by Joe Gibbs - a three-time Super Bowl-winning coach, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and current coach of the Washington Redskins - the team has competed in NASCAR since 1992, winning two Cup Series championships and over 40 NASCAR races, including the 1993 Daytona 500 and 2000 Brickyard 400.

-jgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Jason Leffler , J.J. Yeley , Denny Hamlin , Aric Almirola
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing