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Joe Gibbs Racing 2014 Nationwide Series preview

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In 2013, the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry team came within one point of winning the owner’s points championship, bested only by the No. 22 of Team Penske. This year, a former Team Penske driver will be behind the wheel of the No. 54 for seven races, joining Kyle Busch in a run for another shot at a Nationwide Series title. The 2014 Nationwide Series season kicks off on Saturday, February 22nd at Daytona International Speedway, site of the DRIVE4COPD 300.

Elliott Sadler

Sadler is the only returning full-time driver for JGR, as Brian Vickers will be racing full-time in the Sprint Cup Series for Michael Waltrip Racing. The No. 11 Toyota Camry returns to the track with OneMain Financial as its sponsor. In 2013, Sadler went winless, collecting 20 top 10 finishes on his way to a fourth-place finish in points. He also made five Sprint Cup Series starts in 2013, four of which were in relief of Vickers, who missed the final weeks of the season after a reoccurrence of blood clots in his leg.

Elliott Sadler statistics:

· Best Nationwide Series tracks (average finishes) – Iowa Speedway (3.7 in six races), Kentucky Speedway (7.0 in five races), Road America (9.3 in three races)

· Worst Nationwide Series tracks (average finishes) – Atlanta Motor Speedway (19.8 in eight races), Charlotte Motor Speedway (18.2 in 14 races), Darlington Raceway (17.6 in 10 races), Homestead-Miami Speedway (17.6 in eight races)

· Most wins in Nationwide Series – Bristol Motor Speedway (two wins)

No. 20 Toyota Camry team

Matt Kenseth is scheduled to race 17 times in the Nationwide Series in JGR’s No. 20 Toyota, sponsored in seven races by Reser’s Fine Foods and 10 races by GameStop. Drew Herring will also race in the No. 20, with backing from SportClips, at Chicagoland Speedway in September.

No. 54 Toyota Camry team

Kyle Busch will get behind the wheel of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota 26 times in 2014, with veteran driver and IndyCar champ Sam Hornish Jr. filling the remaining seven races on the schedule. Hornish Jr., who spent the past 10 years – including time in the Indycar Series – at Team Penske, was the runner-up in Nationwide Series points last season, with one win, 25 top 10s and four poles.

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