There are a lot of new faces at Joe Gibbs Racing, but these guys aren’t rookies.
Matt Kenseth, 40, joined the JGR family after 12 seasons with Roush Fenway Racing. Despite not yet taking a single green flag with his new team, Kenseth is already feeling right at home, joking with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch about which driver will deliver Gibbs his next championship.
“Didn’t you already win a championship,” NASCAR Nationwide Series teammate Brian Vickers said in defense of Kenseth.
“That was a long time ago,” Busch quipped.
Jokes aside, Gibbs said Kenseth brings an added element to his race team that has everyone around the shop excited about the prospects for 2013 and beyond.
“Adding Matt is a big deal,” Gibbs said during the final stop of the four-day NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I think he’s somebody that we all respect. I know that Denny, Kyle and Brian do. It’s a thrill for us to have him on board… This is probably the most excited I’ve been going into a season.”
Vickers, who joins the full-time ranks of Gibbs’ Nationwide Series stable, said he hopes teaming up with Kenseth (and their shared sponsor Dollar General) will return them to the glory both experienced in 2003 when Vickers claimed the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship and Kenseth was crowned the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ.
JD Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, also introduced the media to the newest member of the Gibbs Racing family, Taylor James Hamlin.
“It’s been a great week,” new father Denny Hamlin said. “I’m very tired, but she’s perfectly healthy. We’re excited to have her.”
Taylor was born Jan. 20 at 20:20 (military time for 8:20 p.m.) and measured 20 inches long.
“We squelched the rumor that Denny will now be driving the 20 car,” JD Gibbs said with a smile.