JOE GIBBS RACING AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY: Joe Gibbs Racing’s Nationwide Series program has been a dominant force at Auto Club Speedway winning eight consecutive races on the two-mile track. Since 2008, JGR Toyotas have been to victory lane in every Nationwide Series event that Auto Club Speedway has hosted. In addition to the organization’s eight wins, they’ve logged 14 top-five finishes, 22 top-10 finishes and led 825 laps in 40 starts at the Fontana, Calif.-racetrack. A win for JGR in Saturday’s Royal Purple 300 would be their ninth sequential Nationwide Series victory on Toyota’s home track.
VICKERS TO VISIT TOYOTA HEADQUARTERS: In conjunction with this weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway, Toyota will host their annual Toyota Motorsports Day on Thursday, March 21. Brian Vickers will join Toyota’s elite fleet of NASCAR drivers to sign autographs for Toyota’s corporate employees at their headquarters in Torrance, Calif.
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.
THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA: Dollar General vendor partners Brawny, Amerigas, Republic Plastics, Scrubbing Bubbles, Sun, Energizer, Pepsi Max, Betty Crocker, Stacker 2, Downy, Clorox and Alpo will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.
RACE INFO: The Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway kicks off at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 23. Watch and listen live on ESPN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio.
Brian Vickers: “We started off the season with two undesirable finishes, but these past two races being able to finish in the top-three was exciting. We really want to win a race, though. Being in victory lane is where we all want to be and that’s obviously where our sponsor Dollar General wants to be as well. We are, however, running for a championship, so we have to be smart about it. Every weekend we’re racing against a tough field and many of them are also racing for the championship like us. It’s always a tough battle deciding between how much risk you take to go get that win and how much risk is too much when you’re racing for a championship.”
“I’ve always liked racing at Auto Club Speedway. I think it’s a great racetrack, especially from a driver’s perspective and from a fan’s perspective it is too. Fans get to see us going by at 200 miles an hour. It’s a great track because the surface allows you to run all the way at the top of the wall, all the way at the bottom and even all the way at the apron between turns three and four. Obviously restarts are exciting and you see guys, two, three and four-wide sometimes. I think it makes for great racing.”