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JGR announces third car in 2005

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JGR announces third car in 2005
Oct 14, 2004, 10:21 PM

FedEx To Sponsor Third Gibbs Car, Leffler Named as Driver CHARLOTTE, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004 -- FedEx Corp (NYSE: FDX), a worldwide leader in the broadest range of transportation, e-commerce and business services, will sponsor ...

FedEx To Sponsor Third Gibbs Car, Leffler Named as Driver

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004 -- FedEx Corp (NYSE: FDX), a worldwide leader in the broadest range of transportation, e-commerce and business services, will sponsor a third Joe Gibbs Racing car for the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season with Jason Leffler as the driver, officials from FedEx and JGR announced Oct. 13.

Leffler will join teammates Bobby Labonte, 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion and driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet and Tony Stewart 2002 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion and driver of No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet.

"Our relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing in America's fastest growing sport is a strategic fit for the FedEx brand and a strong extension of our sponsorship portfolio," said T. Michael Glenn, executive vice president of FedEx Corp. "Success on the track depends on reliability, precision, teamwork and speed, and our employees and contractors deliver those values to our customers every day."

The partnership brings together the Gibbs name and FedEx for a second time. JGR owner Joe Gibbs, a three-time Super Bowl-winning coach and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, coaches the Washington Redskins at FedExField in Landover, Md.

"FedEx is one of the most admired and recognizable companies in the world, and I'm happy to have such a renowned addition to the team," Gibbs said. "FedEx and I enjoy a strong relationship with the Redskins, and I am excited to extend that winning relationship to NASCAR."

Leffler, 29, from Long Beach, Calif., is a versatile driver who has competed in all three of NASCAR's top divisions, the 2000 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race and won three consecutive United States Auto Club National Midget titles from 1997-1999 and the 1998 USAC Silver Crown title.

He scored his first career Busch Series victory June 12 at Nashville Superspeedway and has made 33 NEXTEL Cup starts, including 30 for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2001. Prior to competing with Ganassi, Leffler drove a JGR Busch Series car in 1999 and 2000, making 35 starts.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity to drive for FedEx and Joe Gibbs Racing," Leffler said. "I look forward to representing a great company like FedEx. JGR is one of the best teams in the business, so I'm looking forward to a great season in 2005."

Dave Rogers, who served as race engineer for Tony Stewart's car from 1999-2004, will serve as Leffler's crew chief on the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet. Rogers, 30, from Marshfield, Vt., has worked at JGR since July 1998 and obtained a degree in mechanical engineering in 1996 from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. He earned a masters degree in science and engineering in 1999 from the GMI Engineering & Management Institute in Flint, Mich.

"I'm really looking forward to working with FedEx and Jason," Rogers said. "I've learned a lot from Greg Zipadelli through the past six years and I'm ready for the challenge as crew chief of the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet."

The No. 11 was selected for the FedEx team because of its rich NASCAR history. Eight series championships have been won by cars carrying the number -- two with Ned Jarrett in 1961 and 1965, three consecutive with Cale Yarborough in 1976-78 and three with Darrell Waltrip in 1981-82 and 1985. The No. 11 has scored 180 victories in NASCAR's premiere division, second all-time.

The number also holds significance for J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, who wore No. 11 during his football career from 1987-1990 at The College of William & Mary.

"It's an extreme pleasure to welcome FedEx to Joe Gibbs Racing," J.D. Gibbs said. "It's hard to believe we're adding a third team. When we started the team back in 1991 I think we only had about 11 employees and one or two race cars. We've come a long way since then and this is a milestone day for Joe Gibbs Racing."

Leffler, Rogers and the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet will compete for the first time in the Twin 125 qualifying races Feb. 17, 2004 at Daytona International Speedway. The Daytona 500 is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2004.

FedEx has a broad sports-marketing portfolio through which the company communicates attributes of speed, teamwork and precision. With annual revenues of $26 billion, the company provides customers and businesses worldwide with the broadest range of transportation, e-commerce and business services. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 240,000 employees and contractors to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards, and the needs of their customers and communities.

Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, fielding two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams for drivers Bobby Labonte (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet) and Tony Stewart (No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet), and two NASCAR Busch Series teams for drivers Mike Bliss (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet) and J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Vigoro/The Home Depot Chevrolet).

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 of the last four Cup Series championships and more than 40 NASCAR races, including the 1993 Daytona 500 and the 2000 Brickyard 400.

-jgr-

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