Gardiner, ME - The last time Team EJP Racing attempted to qualify for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race was the Infineon 200 at Charlotte in May. Since then, the team has retooled, formed a technical partnership with one of the most powerful ...
Gardiner, ME - The last time Team EJP Racing attempted to qualify for a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race was the Infineon 200 at Charlotte in May. Since then, the team has retooled, formed a technical partnership with one of the most powerful organizations in NASCAR racing, and hired a promising young driver to take the wheel. Now, it is time for new recipe for success to be put to the test as the team returns to the series with Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Denny Hamlin at the reins of the No. 03 Team EJP Racing/Decoma/Joe Gibbs Performance Chevrolet at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
"I am so excited about this opportunity to make my NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut with Team EJP Racing at one of the biggest events on the series schedule," Hamlin said. "There are always a lot of people in the stands at IRP, and with all that is going on at the Speedway (Indianapolis Motor Speedway), it just adds to the level of excitement for everyone. It's important for the team because E.J. Prescott has a lot of customers in the Indianapolis area. And we'll have a lot of people from Joe Gibbs Racing there to see how things are going, too."
Team owner Steve Prescott looks forward to seeing how the new combination clicks on the racetrack in race conditions. They recently spent two days testing for the IRP event at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut.
"The guys went and tested at Thompson and everything went very well," Prescott said. "Denny is so adaptable to different kinds of racetracks. He has won a lot of races at several different tracks back home, and he carried that adaptability over to the truck really well at Thompson. We're looking forward to seeing how he does at IRP.
"We know we have good equipment to allow us to run up front," Prescott continued. "But we just couldn't find the chemistry early in the season to consistently run up front. We decided it was the best thing we could do to take some time off and regroup. With this new relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing, we have a lot of exciting opportunities, on and off the track. We look forward to expanding our relationship with them and hope to make some positive contributions to their overall program."
Two of the opportunities that have already been presented are relationships with Decoma and Joe Gibbs Performance. Decoma manufactures many of the exterior styling components used on the customized Joe Gibbs Performance vehicles.
"Getting the chance to see the Joe Gibbs Performance Silverado hit the track is exciting for our company," said Molly Fitzpatrick, Marketing Director for Decoma. "Joe Gibbs Performance vehicles are a great product and we know the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series fans are truck people. Not a lot of people get the opportunity to get to drive a true high performance vehicle. The Joe Gibbs Performance Silverado is very affordable, which will give our customers a lot for their dollar.
"Anyone who drives one of our Joe Gibbs Performance Silverados will be satisfied," Fitzpatrick continued. "It's really a fun truck to drive, and to know you have that extra horsepower makes it that much better."
"We've been looking to get more exposure for our Joe Gibbs Performance brand and have always looked at getting involved in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series," said Joey Walls, General Manager of Joe Gibbs Performance. "When JD Gibbs brought Denny Hamlin on as a developmental driver we knew this was the right opportunity. Denny is a winner and knows how to get into victory lane. It is exciting to have Joe Gibbs Performance sponsor him for his debut in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Steve Prescott has great equipment and has given Joe Gibbs Performance a great opportunity to get vast exposure for our Joe Gibbs Performance brand."
Hamlin will make an appearance with the team at the E.J. Prescott, Inc. facility on the west side of Indianapolis on Thursday prior to the Friday race. The plant is located at 8309 Washington, near the Indianapolis airport. He will meet with EJP employees and customers as well as race fans in the area, and will be available for media opportunities.