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The Color of Commitment: Battery Recycling

April 22nd, 2014 by

Interstate Batteries Green StandardGreen’s more than our color. It’s the way we at Interstate Batteries do business and protect the environment.

The Green Standard is Interstate’s way of living up to our commitment to enrich lives. In our closed-loop
system, every battery core we pick up heads to a government-registered battery recycling facility and its raw materials go into new batteries.

Transportation and environmental agencies recognize our unique Green Standard packaging materials and practices. Together, we’re raising standards and leading the industry.

Learn more about Interstate Batteries Recycling, and find a recycling location near you.

We Make it Easy Being Green: 888.872.4001

Recycling should be easy, whether you’re a business, government agency or just a guy with a few batteries lying around.

Count on us for expert handling of your spent batteries. We handle records, provide central management of multiple pick-ups and much more.

If you’ve got a one-time pickup, call us at 888.872.4001 or email us at recycle@ibsa.com. To get a quick response, please have the battery type, quantity and your ZIP code ready. If you are unsure about the type of battery, please describe what the battery came out of.

If you’re interested in joining our recycling program, click the Recycling Form button below to tell us who you are and how we can help.

 

 

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Team Interstate: Kyle Comes Home 3rd in Texas

April 8th, 2014 by
Kyle Busch drove the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota to a third-place finish in Texas.

Kyle Busch drove the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota to a third-place finish in Texas.

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, finished a solid third in Monday’s rain-postponed Duck commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. It was Kyle’s second top-five finish of 2014.

“It was a good afternoon for us with our Interstate Batteries Camry,” said Kyle, who won at Texas last April. “I felt like the second-to-last run I got Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and my guys a little bit behind on adjustments, and we got really, really loose when the sun popped out. It kind of cost us a little bit of track position to the leaders, and then the last stop after that we were really good.

One of Kyle's tire changers waits on the pit wall before springing into action.

One of Kyle’s tire changers waits on the pit wall before springing into action.

“We were going to finish third, and then of course the yellow comes out and you have to come down and get tires – just way too long out there on tires. I chose four just because I absolutely killed my stuff about three laps prior to that caution coming out, so I knew that was our only chance. Interstate Batteries guys did a great job for me here today – good job there on pit road to get me out front. Good, deserving finish for us here today.”

Kyle qualified a disappointing 29th but moved up through the field quickly, reaching the top-20 by lap 41 and 10th by lap 70. He took the lead by lap 143 and stayed near the front for the rest of the race.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin finished seventh and 13th, respectively. Joey Logano won the race.

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Race recap: Joe Gibbs Racing | KyleBusch.com

Videos

Coach Joe Gibbs speaks to the Interstate Batteries hospitality tent on Sunday before the race.

Kyle Busch addresses Interstate Batteries fans on Sunday.

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Texas Motor Speedway

Race recap: ESPN.com

Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series

NRG Stadium, Houston

Justin Brayton injured his hand in practice and was unable to compete. Read full story at JGRMX.com.

This week

  • NASCAR: Darlington Raceway (Darlington, S.C.)
  • Supercross: CenturyLink Field (Seattle)

 

 


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E-Norm-ous Win at Texas

April 2nd, 2014 by
Kyle Busch takes a bow after winning the 2013 NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.

Kyle Busch takes a bow after winning the 2013 NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.

Interstate Batteries and Joe Gibbs Racing enjoy a partnership that stretches back more than 20 years to 1992, JGR’s first full NASCAR season, and it’s an association that long ago evolved past the typical sponsor-race team connection. If asked, owner Joe Gibbs would refer to Norm Miller, Chairman of Interstate Batteries, as family.

Needless to say, it’s a relationship that is never in fear of being overstated when it comes to discussing JGR’s evolution and longevity. And that affiliation is never celebrated more than when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its annual trek to the Lone Star state, home to Interstate Batteries.

Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller (left) with Kyle Busch in Victory Lane. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images

Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller (left) with Kyle Busch in Victory Lane. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images

One year ago, driver Kyle Busch provided yet another reason to celebrate the long-time alliance when he drove the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota to victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, giving the brand its first win at its home track.

After sweeping the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races there last April, Busch hopes he can at least equal that impressive weekend, which saw him lead eight times for a race-high 171 laps and bring home what was his first career Texas win in NASCAR’s top series.

While last April’s Sprint Cup win was his first there, Busch is no stranger to victory lane at Texas. He reeled off an incredible string of five consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series wins there from April 2008 to April 2010. Add his two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins in November 2009 and 2010 and he enters the upcoming Duck Commander 500 race weekend with a total of nine wins at the 1.5-mile oval.

And for anyone keeping score, the stars are seemingly in alignment for an encore.

Busch scored his first win of the 2014 season three weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., in what turned out to be the 29th of his Sprint Cup career, giving the 28-year old sole possession of 23rd place on the series’ all-time win list. In what can only be a slight case of déjà vu, Busch scored the win in Interstate Batteries colors – just like he did one year ago when a win at Fontana preceded the dominating win in Texas.

A second consecutive win in the spring race at Texas in the Interstate Batteries Toyota could be one of those rare instances during which the sequel outshines the original. Interstate Batteries dealers and distributors across the country know if there’s anyone capable of delivering a repeat performance in Texas, it’s Busch.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

How special was it to get your first Texas win last April, especially for Interstate Batteries in the company’s backyard?

Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller, left, with Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing, at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller, left, with Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. Copyright 2011 Autostock Images

“It felt good to sit on the pole with a new track record and go to victory lane. On top of that, just to see the look on Norm’s (Miller, Interstate Batteries Chairman) face was priceless and something I will never forget. Doesn’t get much better than that. It was a fast race and I expect more of that this weekend. Texas is fast. We’re able to carry a lot of speed throughout the turns and down the straightaways throughout the whole race. It was a tough day there for a bit, getting loose, trying to slide around, trying to find grip, being able to move to the middle or move to the top. As soon as that caution came at the end, my boys stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam and got us to victory lane. I was very proud of those guys and, hopefully, they can get us another good stop on Sunday when it’s crunch time.”

Looking back at last April, and even a few races ago at Fontana, what do you think of the numbers you’ve put up in your career with 29 wins by the age of 28?

“There’s a guy named Jimmie Johnson out there who has absolutely shredded the stat book for the rest of us. It’s great for what I’ve been able to accomplish in this sport and I’m thankful for that. And I’ve got a lot to be thankful for and a lot of people to be thankful to, including Joe Gibbs (team owner) and Dave Rogers (crew chief), just to name two. I’m a competitor so, of course, you always wish your stats were a little bit better. I’d love to say I’ve had 50 wins by now, or something near that. But you take everything in stride as best you can, and we’ll continue to work hard. Hopefully, we can continue to increase that number for many years to come.”

Do you approach Texas differently than other mile-and-a-half racetracks?

“Texas is a really fast mile-and-a-half racetrack. Charlotte has been fast the last few years and Texas has always kind of been that way. The asphalt is getting a little bit older but, for as old as the asphalt is, it’s still really fast for a few laps and it’s still kind of a pain, sometimes, because it is so aero-dependent that, when you do run the bottom, it’s hard to pass. You’ve got to be able to move around a little bit and run the middle, run the top and show some ability to go all over the racetrack. We’re getting closer each and every time, it feels like. Sometimes not so much – you kind of go forward and then you go backward and then you kind of come back forward some. Hopefully, Texas will be good to us this time around, also, and we can get a win with our Interstate Batteries Camry like at Fontana.”

Kyle Busch in Victory Lane. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.

Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.

How fast of a racetrack is Texas Motor Speedway?

“It is a fast racetrack. Texas was really hard for me at the beginning with the Cup cars for some reason. I took to it right off the bat in the Nationwide stuff. We’ve kind of correlated some of that information back and forth and, having the cars from Jason Ratcliff (former Nationwide Series crew chief and current crew chief of the No. 20 Sprint Cup team for JGR) and from Dave Rogers (Busch’s Sprint Cup crew chief) being as good as they’ve been, we’ve been really fast there. And now that Jason is on the Cup side with Matt (Kenseth), I’m hoping they can bring back a little of that magic that helped us win five in a row there in the Nationwide car. It’s a fun place. It’s really challenging because of the flatness of the corners, getting into the corners, and then they’re so banked through the turns, and then the exits of the corners, they kind of fall off real quickly. That was always really weird for me to try to figure out because the lateral grip seems to go away so fast on the exit of the turns. You kind of want to be straight by that point. It’s an interesting facility. Texas, Charlotte and Atlanta all might look exactly the same, but they drive nothing alike. It keeps you on your toes.”

Relive the final laps of last year’s race:

 

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TEAM INTERSTATE: Guessing Game in Martinsville

March 31st, 2014 by
That colorful blur is none other than Team Interstate's Kyle Busch. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

That colorful blur is none other than Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

The good news for Team Interstate was that all three drivers started near the front for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series STP 500 race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Kyle Busch won the pole, Denny Hamlin started in second, and Matt Kenseth started sixth.

However, with Saturday’s practice sessions rained out, the teams were left guessing on which setup would work for 500 laps on the half-mile paperclip.

Team Interstate's Denny Hamlin (left), Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Team Interstate’s Denny Hamlin (left), Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

The crew chiefs did their best to make educated guesses, but the results weren’t exactly what the teams were hoping for. Despite handling woes and varying pit strategies, Matt finished the day in sixth, Kyle in 14th and Denny in 19th.

“We struggled really hard with our M&M’s Camry all day,” said Kyle, who has eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 19 career starts at Martinsville. “We were all right for a bit, but once the tires went away with less than 20 laps on them, there was nothing I could do but hold on for the next caution so we could get fresh tires and Dave (Rogers, crew chief) could work on the car.”

Dave said last week’s win at Auto Club Speedway in the Interstate Batteries Toyota allowed the team to experiment with an aggressive setup.

“Odds are you’re going to be in the Chase, so we got the most aggressive with our setup, and our teammates were less aggressive in areas,” Dave said. “Really just disappointed to come to Martinsville and don’t get a better finish than that, but excited about what we learned. The 18, 20 and 11 went three different directions, and the 20 actually had a pretty fast race car. I think we have a lot of good notes for when we come back here in the fall and make a better show out of it.”

Team Interstate's finish from Martinsville

Recap from Joe Gibbs Racing | Race story (FoxSports.com)

Darrell Wallace Jr. drove his No. 54 Toyota Tundra to a solid second-place finish at Martinsville. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Darrell Wallace Jr. drove his No. 54 Toyota Tundra to a solid second-place finish at Martinsville. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Martinsville

Race recap (FoxSports.com)

 

Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series

St. Louis

Recap (JGRMX.com)

This Week

  • NASCAR: Texas Motor Speedway
  • Supercross: Reliant Stadium, Houston

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Angling for a Deep-cycle Jump-Start

March 27th, 2014 by

Before you head out on your next fishing trip, make sure your batteries are ready.

Minnesota resident Eli Ricke knows a little ingenuity coupled with an Outrageously Dependable® deep-cycle marine battery can mean the difference between driving or walking 20 miles. Eli took a new Interstate® battery for his fishing boat off the beaten path, about an hour’s drive from his home in Bagley, Minn., and fished until noon before going to shore for lunch.

“The spot I was fishing had an underwater point and the wind would drift me over the top. Once I passed it, I would put the trolling motor in reverse and troll back about 100 yards and repeat the process,” he said. “The fishing was OK but not great.”

Putting the battery to work

After lunch, Eli opted for a tactic that worked his marine battery a little harder than usual.

“I put on a crankbait and trolled it, using my trolling motor, for about two straight hours. I have a Minn Kota with 55 pounds of thrust and was on setting three in forward the whole time. I did quite well in the afternoon,” he said. About 3 p.m., he wrapped up his fishing excursion to head home.

“I walked up to my truck, put the key in the ignition and turned it and nothing, not even a click,” he said. He realized he had left the truck’s headlights on all day. With no cellphone reception, Eli had to decide if he was going to walk home or sleep in his truck since it would be dark soon. Then his ingenuity intervened.

Crank it back up

He first thought of swapping the truck battery with the marine battery, but he didn’t have tools in his truck. Then he spotted jumper cables under the back seat.

“Lo and behold, not only did it turn the engine over, it was almost as if the battery in the truck was fully charged. It had to turn the crank over three or four times to start and it did it without even hesitating,” he said. “That battery is worth every penny.”

Find an Interstate Batteries marine/RV dealer or Interstate All Battery Center store near you, and gear up for a successful fishing season!

Do you have a story about the Outrageously Dependable® service you’ve received from an Interstate Batteries Dealer, Distributor or Route Manager? Has one of our products gone beyond your expectations? Share your story with us. Write us by email (socialmedia at interstatebatteries dot com) or on our Facebook page. If we use it, you could get some Team Interstate gear!

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Team Interstate: Kyle Busch Conquers California

March 24th, 2014 by
Kyle Busch emerges victorious from his No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry after winning the Auto Club 400. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

Kyle Busch emerges victorious from his No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry after winning the Auto Club 400. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

Kyle Busch proved yet again that you don’t need to lead every lap, just the right lap.

The driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing used a sharp pit call and service by crew chief Dave Rogers and team, made a last-lap pass for the lead and held off hard-charging rookie Kyle Larson to win Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., his second win in a row on the 2-mile oval.

“That right there is a ‘Days of Thunder‘ thing,” said Busch, who recorded his 29th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his third at Fontana. “Holy cow, what do you expect when you get a green-white-checkered finish and everybody has to come down pit road for tires? Unbelievable day. I can’t say enough about Interstate Batteries, M&M’s and Toyota, of course – awesome today to be here again in their hometown. I think the fans won today with that finish.”

Watch the thrilling finish:

On the final restart, Busch split the cars of Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart to take the lead on the final lap. Although he had a mirror full of Larson during the final lap, he was able to hold the rookie off to score his third career win at the 2-mile oval, yet again in dramatic fashion.

“I knew four tires was going to win the race, so I’m glad Dave called that,” said Busch, who led only five laps in the Auto Club 400. “I just can’t say enough about all these guys on this Interstate Batteries Toyota team. What an awesome race this track produced. I just can’t believe it.  I thank the Lord for putting ourselves here and getting us locked in the Chase.”

Kyle’s Victory Lane interview:

Busch’s teammates – Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry, and Sam Hornish Jr., subbing for Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Toyota Camry, who was not medically cleared to race – finished 4th and 17th, respectively.

Race recap from FoxSports.com | Sinus infection sidelines Hamlin (USAToday)

Slideshow — Photos from race weekend:

 

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Auto Club Speedway

 

 

 

Monster Energy AMA Supercross

Rogers Centre, Toronto

  • No. 10 – Justin Brayton – 4th
  • No. 33 – Josh Grant – DNQ (Food poisoning)

Recap (JGRMX.com)

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Kyle Busch: Enter the Arena

March 18th, 2014 by

Kyle Busch - Fearless

Just because the site of last weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is nicknamed “The Last Great Colosseum,” it doesn’t mean Kyle Busch doesn’t have his eyes purely on the conquest of the next venue and trophy – and a spot in the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

This weekend’s arena? That would be Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. for Sunday’s Auto Club 400.

Busch will be supported by the efforts of Joe Gibbs Racing‘s founding sponsor, whose Conquest 18 social media campaign can be followed via Facebook (www.facebook/interstatebatteries), Twitter (@InterstateBatts) and Instagram (@InterstateBatts) all with the hashtag #Conquest18.

The driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry will be looking to score back-to-back wins at Fontana and, in the process, surpass 10,000 laps led in his relatively short Sprint Cup career. Busch sits just 67 laps from reaching the 10,000-laps-led mark, which would make him just the 15th driver in the history of NASCAR’s top series to accomplish the feat. With the new “win and you’re in the Chase format,” Busch knows winning the battle Sunday would set him up for another championship run in September.

Kyle celebrates after winning last year's Auto Club 400. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images

Kyle celebrates after winning last year’s Auto Club 400. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images

Last year at Fontana, Busch led a race-high 125 laps and brought home the checkered flag in dramatic fashion as he slid to the outside of the dueling Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin coming off turn four on the final lap. The win was one of four Sprint Cup victories for Busch in 2013, two of which were in Interstate Batteries colors at Fontana and in Interstate’s backyard at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

With two wins to his name there, Busch’s Sprint Cup record at Fontana is impressive. Since scoring his maiden victory there in September 2005, he has rattled off 11 top-10 finishes in 16 races. Busch also has six Nationwide Series wins – October 2008, February 2009 and 2010, October 2010, March 2011 and March 2013 – at the 2-mile oval, which included a weekend sweep last March.

The last time Busch reached a major milestone was last April at Texas, where he captured the win in his 300th Sprint Cup start. Will this be the weekend during which the Las Vegas native reaches the 10,000-laps-led milestone while also bringing home the hardware? This first of six races for Interstate Batteries could bring with it a landmark achievement as Conquest 18 aims for the 2014 Sprint Cup championship.

Kyle Busch's No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry

Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

 

What does it mean to be close to reaching 10,000 laps led in the Sprint Cup Series?

“It’s pretty neat anytime we’re able to set records, break records – however you want to say it. It’s always fun. It just means you’re accomplishing things in the sport, various things in the sport. There are a lot of things I want to accomplish still that I haven’t. Whatever things come along that way, that we’re able to accomplish, is awesome, it’s fun, it’s great. It means you are a namesake in the sport and that hopefully things continue to go down that path. Whether it stops at 10,000 or not, I doubt it will, so hopefully we just keep going.”

Even though you earned your first Sprint Cup victory at Fontana in 2005, how special was last year’s win there?

“Last year was special for a lot of reasons. It’s always great to be able to get Norm (Miller, Chairman) and everyone at Interstate Batteries a win. Their dealers and distributors love to be in victory lane as much as I do. But, on top of that, the track is just down the road from Toyota Racing Development (TRD) headquarters and our win there last year was the first Sprint Cup win for them at their hometown track. Being able to celebrate that with Toyota was very special, to say the least. Then, just how the race was won was crazy, too. We had the best car there all day but we ended up getting some late cautions and had to make some hard decisions on whether to stay out on old tires or lose our track position. We ended up getting passed by Joey (Logano) and Denny (Hamlin) and thought they had the race won. They got caught up racing each other and I was coming even if they didn’t end up wrecking. I was digging on the high side and they got together. I hated it for Denny since that was really a tough circumstance for him. It was a crazy finish, one that I won’t forget for a while, and I’m sure the fans won’t forget anytime soon, either.”

Kyle Busch: Drive On, Warrior - Interstate BatteriesWere the new aero rules the cause of the up-and-down performance by Joe Gibbs Racing at Las Vegas, and do you expect it to improve this weekend at Fontana?

“I don’t think it’s anything to do with the aero rules. I think it’s just to do with the new ride-height rules. The box used to be so big and now it’s way bigger. It just allows more opportunity for teams to experiment and to come up with different things that make their cars go fast. I don’t discount the time and effort and everything that my guys put in at the race shop, and everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing and all the work that they do, but there are teams out there right now that have worked a little smarter than us and figured it out a little earlier than us. But if now is the time to struggle a little bit, it’s certainly earlier in the season, it’s an OK time to do that. You do need to pick business up by at least week 10 or so and get yourself rolling.”

How has Auto Club Speedway changed over the last several years, going from a new track to a place that has a lot more character and racing grooves?

“It always seems to be a really good race there. It’s a really fun racetrack. It’s widened out and it’s become where you can race all over it and, with the race being as long as it is, you need to take a lot of time working through traffic and being able to have a good car and all that. But sometimes it’s really a hard racetrack to get ahold of, now, especially when it’s hot and the sun is out. There are two completely different types of racing when you run the top versus the bottom groove. You can run from the top to the bottom, but when you run the bottom, you really feel like you’re puttering around the racetrack. You feel like you aren’t making up any time on the bottom. But when you are running the top groove, you feel like you’re getting the job done. The guys who run the bottom have a little bit more patience and handle it better than the guys who are on the gas on top.”

What do you remember about that night in 2005 when you captured your first Sprint Cup win at Fontana?

“We ran in the top-five all day long but we really didn’t think we had a winning car. When we got the lead a few times throughout the race, we just pulled away and led by quite a bit. It was really cool to have a really dominant racecar. I remember having to drive the car really loose. That was the loosest I think I’ve ever driven a racecar that was still moving forward. It was crazy because I came over the radio and told the guys I couldn’t believe how loose I have to drive the car. But it was fast.”

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Team Interstate: Banged up in Bristol

March 17th, 2014 by
Matt Kenseth (20) leads Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch at Bristol. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Matt Kenseth (20) leads Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch at Bristol. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Talk about a rough day at the track. All three of Team Interstate‘s cars led laps and suffered damage in Sunday’s rain-delayed Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Denny Hamlin started from the pole position in his No. 11 Toyota Camry and led the first four laps. Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch each took their turns at the front of the field, displaying strength early in the race and immediately following a lengthy rain delay.

Teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch talk during a rain delay at Bristol. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

Teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch talk during a rain delay at Bristol. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images.

But the race was marked with some bizarre cautions and untimely accidents.

The start of the race was delayed by almost two hours by rain. Several dozen laps in, a battery fell out of the No. 23 car, spreading a long string of packing material that looked like toilet paper across the track.

Related: What’s inside a battery? 

Matt took the lead as rain came again at lap 125 and delayed the race for more than three hours. Shortly after the race resumed, an accident brought out the caution, and Matt was drilled from behind by the 33 car. Matt pitted for repairs and dropped to 24th. The damage wasn’t enough to slow Matt, however, and he quickly climbed back up to the front of the pack.

Kyle took the lead on lap 195, but on lap 270 he radioed his team to say he felt a tire going down. The unscheduled pit stop dropped him two laps down. He got one of those laps back on a caution, but then spun in turn 2 and made hard contact with the outside SAFER Barrier. From there, all the No. 18 team could do was make repairs good enough to get Kyle to the finish, where he ended the race four laps down in 29th place.

Denny also made contact with the wall late in the race, but he was still able to wheel his car to a sixth-place finish. Matt finished 13th.

Carl Edwards won the Food City 500.

Read more: KyleBusch.com | Fox Sports

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Nationwide Series

Bristol

Kyle Busch won Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Bristol. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

Kyle Busch won Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Bristol. Copyright 2014 Autostock Images

Kyle won Saturday’s Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol, his 16th career NASCAR victory at the track. Read more: Fox Sports

Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series

Ford Field, Detroit

Read more: JGRMX.com

This Week

  • NASCAR: Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif. (Kyle drives the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry)
  • Supercross: Rogers Centre, Toronto

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Luck Eludes Team Interstate in Vegas

March 10th, 2014 by
Matt Kenseth (20) and Kyle Busch run side-by-side in Sunday's race. Copyright 2014 Autostock images

Matt Kenseth (20) and Kyle Busch run side-by-side in Sunday’s race. Copyright 2014 Autostock images

With 100 laps in the books in Sunday’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, it looked as if Team Interstate’s Kyle Busch was about to have his second career victory at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Peanut/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) led three times for a total of 52 laps, but handling woes in the second half of the race dropped him from at least a top-five finish, if not a win, to 11th when the checkered flag waved.

“We had a really up and down day with our M&M’s Peanut Camry,” said Kyle, who won a Sprint Cup race in 2009 at Las Vegas. “We started off getting blocked in the pits and had to come from the back. The car was too loose on the first run and we tightened it up and it was really fast for a while there. But we kept adjusting on it to try and help the tight in the center of the corner, and it was just getting looser and looser, especially on the last run. Just disappointing when we looked like we had a good car earlier in the race.”

Kyle’s JGR companions – Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Toyota Camry – finished 10th and 12th, respectively.

Brad Keselowski won the Kobalt 400 to score his 11th career Sprint Cup victory, his first of the season and his first at Las Vegas.

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More from KyleBusch.com | Recap from FoxSports.com

Nationwide Series

031114_0257_LuckEludesT3.jpg

Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 11 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, earned a 13th-place finish in the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Elliott started 13th and immediately raced his way into the top-10. He was seventh by lap five around the 1.5-mile oval before the car developed a loose-handling condition whenever it exited the track’s corners.

As the first round of green-flag pit stops was about to finish, NASCAR threw the first caution flag of the race for debris on lap 57, causing the No. 11 team to lose a lap to the leaders. A long green flag run put Sadler a second lap down while racing in 16th position on lap 125. By that time there were only eight cars on the lead lap as the leaders continued to set a blistering pace in the 200-lap race.

“The Interstate Batteries team really worked hard to get a good finish today at Las Vegas,” Sadler said. “We wanted a little better result, but I have to hand it to the guys on the pit box, in the garage and on pit road – no one gave up today.”

Results:

More from ElliottSadler.com | Recap from ESPN.com

AMA Supercross

Daytona International Speedway, Florida

More from JGRMX.com

This Week

  • NASCAR: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
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Elliott Sadler: Charged for Las Vegas

March 7th, 2014 by

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To say Elliott Sadler is no stranger to racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway is an understatement. He drove in the track’s inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series event in 1997 and he’s competed at the 1.5-mile oval in either the NASCAR Sprint Cup or Nationwide Series every season since.

In total, Sadler boasts 19 career starts at Las Vegas – 12 in the Sprint Cup Series and seven in Nationwide. It’s a career statistic that spans nearly two decades.

After 17 years, Sadler still gets a kick out of racing in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

That kick gets a jolt for this weekend’s Boyd Gaming 300 Nationwide Series race in which Sadler will pilot the No. 11 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR).

Elliott Sadler in Interstate Batteries colors at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images

Elliott Sadler in Interstate Batteries colors at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images

Youthful enthusiasm and passion for the sport make it easy to forget that Sadler long ago made the transition from up-and-comer to NASCAR veteran. He’s raced, won and competed for championships in both of NASCAR’s top touring series. His career Nationwide Series record includes nine wins, 56 top-fives, 108 top-10s and 15 pole awards. And since returning to the series as a full-time competitor in 2011, the JGR driver has posted finishes of second, second and fourth in the season-long Nationwide Series championship races, respectively.

While the 2014 Nationwide Series season is a mere two races old, Sadler and his No. 11 JGR team have come out of the gate strong – scoring a fifth-place finish in the season-opening race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and a sixth-place finish last week at Phoenix International Raceway. It’s a start that places him third in the championship point standings, six points out of first, entering Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300.

In seven career Nationwide Series starts at Las Vegas, Sadler has scored two top-five finishes, three top-10s and one pole in March 2012. His average starting position is 8.3 and his average finish is 12.1. Aside from a 30th-place finish in his first-ever start at Las Vegas – the result of a late-race accident – Sadler has finished no worse than 14th.

Complementing Sadler’s traditional statistics at Las Vegas is his success in several of NASCAR’s loop data categories. He leads all drivers in average running position at 6.8 and is first among drivers fastest late in a run at 167.627 mph. He ranks top-five in a series of categories from fifth in fastest laps run to third in green-flag speed to second in speed by quarter. It all adds up to a 102.8 driver rating that places Sadler second among all drivers at Las Vegas.

This weekend’s race will be an anniversary of sorts for Sadler as it commemorates the second time he’s been paired with one of JGR’s founding partners in Interstate Batteries. Sadler raced his way to a fifth-place finish beneath the Interstate colors at Las Vegas one year ago. He hopes to improve on that performance this weekend with a trip to victory lane.

Elliott Sadler, Driver of the No. 11 Interstate Batteries NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:

What are your thoughts about the race this weekend at Las Vegas?

“It’s easily one of my favorite places to race. Las Vegas is just a fun place and the track is a fast racetrack. It’s very slick and it’s got some bumps and stuff in turn one but it always opens up to a really good race. You can run on the bottom, the middle, the top. That track has really aged well and has become a multi-groove racetrack that lets you put on a good show for the fans. All of the races there are really good shows. Las Vegas itself is a great place with a lot of great entertainment, of course. It’s a great destination and the track has done a great job with the garages and provided well for fan accessibility. So, it’s a fun place to race and a fast place to race and, hopefully, we’ll go there and do well.”

Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 11 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.

Elliott Sadler, driver of the No. 11 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry. Copyright 2013 Autostock Images.

What is the key for finding success at Las Vegas?

“The biggest thing for Las Vegas is maintaining speed all the way around the track. At Las Vegas, you have bumps in the center of (turns) one and two and then bumps off (turn) four, so I think you fight trying to keep the car turning and working through the bumps because it upsets the car a lot. We don’t have that at a lot of places. You have traditional mile-and-a-half tracks that are smooth and you just try to take advantage of the speed, but it’s easier to do on those smooth tracks. It’s much harder at a place like Las Vegas with the way the track has aged.”

How much different is it going into this weekend’s race at Las Vegas than one year ago?

“I know this is going to sound dramatic but it’s just night-and-day. There was quite a bit of a learning curve we were dealing with last year for me with a new team, new manufacturer, just getting used to everybody and everything. This year, everything is the same. It’s been probably five or six years since I’ve been able to say that, but this year everyone is the same – same crew chief, same guys working on the car. It means a lot and we are going to take advantage of that as much as possible.”

“You know going into it that the Interstate Batteries sponsorship and brand is a very important part of Joe Gibbs Racing. It’s part of the orientation you go through when you join JGR. Interstate has set such a great example by being so loyal to the sport for such a long, long time. I’m pretty proud of the fact that I get to be part of that Interstate Batteries Racing family and it’s exciting for me to have them back on our car for Las Vegas. I know I told people this last year, but it’s extra special for me because I look back to Dale Jarrett’s Daytona 500 win in 1993 – the first Daytona 500 win for Joe Gibbs Racing in an Interstate Batteries car – and he’s one of my best friends. So here, years later, I get to drive for the Interstate Batteries company. So that, to me, is still pretty cool and something that I’m pretty proud of.”

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