DG COLORS REPRESENTED IN SPONSOR’S HOME STATE: Coming off of their first-ever Sprint Cup Series victory with driver Matt Kenseth in Las Vegas, Dollar General will be racing their familiar yellow and black No. 20 Toyota Camry in Saturday’s Nationwide Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway with Brian Vickers behind the wheel. The discount retailer, headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn., has been a mainstay in motorsports for several years and is in their second season partnering with Joe Gibbs Racing. Vickers earned a third-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last week and currently sits seventh in the Nationwide Series Championship point standings heading to Bristol.
CREW CHIEF CALLS THE SHOTS ON HOME TURF: Vickers’ crew chief, Kevin Kidd, will compete close to his hometown of Tazewell, Va. this weekend as the NASCAR circuit visits Bristol Motor Speedway. Before moving into the NASCAR ranks, Kidd raced late models at his home track, New River Valley Speedway (Radford, Va.). After graduating from Tazewell High School, Kidd attended Virginia Tech and earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 2001. He has been a crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing since 2010. Kidd now resides in Mooresville, N.C. with his wife Mary Kathryn and their two children Sawyer and Kate.
VICKERS CONTRIBUTES TO CLOT CONNECT: March is recognized as National Blood Clot Awareness Month, and with Vickers’ battle with blood clots in 2010, he has chosen to contribute to the cause through his performance on the track throughout the month of March. Vickers himself was assisted with blood clots by the help of Clot Connect run by Dr. Stephan Moll and Beth Waldron of UNC Chapel Hill. Clot Connect is a comprehensive organization and website that allows patients and those seeking knowledge to get the foremost information on clotting, the risks, medicines and treatment. Vickers would like to bring more awareness to the cause this month with a personal challenge to himself that will benefit Clot Connect. For each lap he leads on the track, both in the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series, he will donate $10 (with a minimum donation of $2,000) to Clot Connect. Vickers has opened up the opportunity for friends, fans and partners to take part in the challenge as well. For more information on Clot Connect, please visit www.clotconnect.org.
JOE GIBBS RACING AT BRISTOL: In 56 Nationwide Series starts at Bristol Motor Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing has registered four wins, 12 top-five finishes and 22 top-10 finishes while leading a total of 1,234 laps on the .53-mile track. JGR’s most recent Nationwide Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway was with driver Joey Logano and the No. 18 Dollar General team on August 24, 2012.
THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA: Dollar General vendor partners Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Amerigas, Republic Plastics, Scrubbing Bubbles, Snuggle, Clorox, Pepsi Max, Alpo, Covergirl, Stacker 2, Hefty, Energizer and Angel Soft will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
RACE INFO: The Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway kicks off at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 16. Watch and listen live on ESPN2, Sirius XM Channel 90 and PRN Radio starting at 4 p.m. ET.
From the Cockpit:
Brian Vickers: “Following the first three races of the season and heading into Bristol, I feel like we’re getting there. Kevin Kidd and I are working well together. I’ve got confidence in these guys. I think we finally proved our efforts with our third place result in Vegas. We led laps, had a strong car throughout the race, awesome pit stops and we finally had the finish to prove our effort. This weekend should be interesting with it being my first double-duty race where I’m in JGR’s Nationwide car and MWR’s Cup car. It will definitely be a busy weekend, but I’m looking forward to it.”
From the Pit Box:
Kevin Kidd: “Growing up in Tazewell, Va., I consider Bristol my home track. I love the racing there. At Bristol, survival is the first goal. Getting your car to work on the bottom of the track is really what counts there. If you have enough strength to run the bottom and make runs on exit while under someone, then you’re going to be strong at Bristol. That means that your car has to turn good and have plenty of rear grip. I think Bristol’s the best track for racing on the circuit, and we’d like nothing more than driving Dollar General to victory lane in the state where they’re headquartered.”