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Joe Gibbs Racing 2018 Xfinity lineup: Christopher Bell, Brandon Jones, Ryan Preece

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Joe Gibbs Racing announced Wednesday it will campaign three full-timeXfinity cars in 2018:

Bell will drive the No. 20 Toyota Camry. His crew chief will be Jason Ratcliff, whose final stint with Matt Kenseth in the Cup Series is Sunday in Miami.

Bell has made seven Xfinity starts this season, scoring his first series win Oct. 21 at Kansas.

Bell is still in contention for the Truck championship, which will be decided in Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

  • After two-plus full-time Xfinity seasons with Richard Childress Racing, Brandon Jones moves to a similar full-time ride with JGR.

Brandon Jones will drive the No. 19 Toyota Camry. Chris Gabehart will be his crew chief.

Eric Phillips will serve as crew chief for Preece and the other drivers when they are behind the wheel of the No. 18.

Preece has made three Xfinity starts this season, with top-five finishes in each, including his first career win July 29 at Iowa Speedway. He will race in Saturday’s season-ending event.

Preece will drive an undetermined number of races in 2018. Busch, the all-time Xfinity wins leader with 91, will start a maximum of seven races. Fellow Cup drivers Hamlin, Erik Jones and Suarez will fill out the remaining races.

NASCAR America: How Joe Gibbs built a racing empire; also fan questions

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Joe Gibbs was our special guest on Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America.

The show, which originated from the NASCAR Hall of Fame, took Gibbs through a walk down memory lane during the one-hour episode.

Sure, Gibbs won three Super Bowls as a legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach with the Washington Redskins, but Wednesday’s appearance wasn’t about football.

Rather, one of the biggest — and most key aspects of his career — was how Gibbs reflected back on how Joe Gibbs Racing was built.

It’s not commonly known, but Gibbs grew up a gear head. He was drag racing in his teens — while also sowing the seeds for his legendary football career. When he decided to go NASCAR racing in 1991, he started small. To the point where he not only never envisioned his company becoming as large or as successful as it has become in 26 years, but even if it would survive financially in the first few years.

Another thing about Gibbs not too many people know: when he dipped his feet into the NASCAR world, he also owned a NHRA drag racing team that had both a Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car for several years before deciding to focus all his motoring oversight on his quickly growing NASCAR operation.

Gibbs has influenced a number of drivers that have driven for him over the years, not to mention the hundreds of individuals that have worked for him — including many who are still with Joe Gibbs Racing since its origination.

One of those that Gibbs had a most profound impact upon was NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, who related the high esteem he holds his former boss in.

“(Gibbs) and my dad are the two most influential people I’ve ever met in my life,” Dale Jarrett said.

See that excerpt in the video above.

Also, Gibbs revealed during Wednesday’s episode what some of his greatest achievements have been in NASCAR, how he manages completely opposite personalities, from Kyle Busch to Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth to Daniel Suarez.

Check out that particular segment in the video below.

NASCAR America: Joe Gibbs on Busch, Hamlin’s title chances; success similarities between NASCAR, NFL

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When Matt Kenseth was parked Sunday at Kansas for having too many men servicing the car, abruptly ending his hopes for a championship while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.

While Kenseth is out of the playoffs, JGR still has two drivers — Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch — who remain as the Round of 8 kicks off Sunday with the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Gibbs was our special guest during Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America from the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

The man they call “Coach Gibbs” broke down each of his two drivers’ chances of advancing to the Championship 4 round in Miami.

Check out the video above.

Gibbs also talked about the similarities of success in both NASCAR and the NFL and how some might find it surprising in the video below.

Joe Gibbs credits the people who surround him for his success in NASCAR and NFL and draws comparisons between the two.

NASCAR America 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN: Joe Gibbs from NASCAR Hall of Fame

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Marty Snider, Jeff Burton and Dale Jarrett are hosts are at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte.

Today’s special guest is NASCAR team owner and three-time NFL Super Bowl champion coach Joe Gibbs.

On today’s show:

  • Joe Gibbs Racing is pursuing its fifth NASCAR Cup championship. Joe talks about his team’s chances with Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.
  • JGR’s performance so far in the Playoffs.
  • Joe reflects back on the early days of JGR, which began in 1991 with just 18 crew members.
  • We talk to Joe about his legacy in the football world and how it compares to what he hopes to leave behind in NASCAR.
  • His time spent in the TV booth with NBC.
  • You can also send in your questions for Coach Gibbs, who will answer them during the show! Just send them on social media with the hashtag #AskCoachGibbs
  • PLUS: Darrell Wallace Jr. will drive full-time in the Cup Series next season, taking over the famous #43 car at Richard Petty Motorsports. Our Dave Burns will talk to both Bubba and the King about their new partnership and what they hope to accomplish together.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you can also watch it via the online stream at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Don’t stand for anthem? Richard Childress says get on the bus afterward

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LOUDON, New Hampshire — While many NFL players kneeled during the “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games Sunday, NASCAR crews stood along pit road for the national anthem.

More attention has been paid to the issue since President Donald Trump said in a speech Friday that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner.’’

Several NFL players have not stood for the anthem before games to protest the treatment of blacks by police. Former quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the trend last year when he played with the San Francisco 49ers.

Car owner Richard Childress was asked before Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway what the policy was for his team if someone kneeled for the anthem.

“Get you a ride on a Greyhound bus when the national anthem is over,’’ Childress said on pit road. “Anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.’’

Richard Petty told USA Today: “Anybody that don’t stand up for (the anthem) ought to be out of the country. Period. If they don’t appreciate where they’re at … what got them where they’re at? The United States.”

Car owner Joe Gibbs said he didn’t talk about the issue with his team before the race.

“You’ve got an athletic event and that’s what we’re going to have,’’ Gibbs said.

Car owner Chip Ganassi said: “I like Mike Tomlin’s answer.’’

Tomlin is the coach of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. All but one of his team’s players stayed off the field for the anthem before its game Sunday.

Tomlin told CBS Sports before the game: “We’re not going to play politics. We’re football players, we’re football coaches. We’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, to remove ourselves from the circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose. If a guy wants to go about his normal business and participate in the anthem, he shouldn’t be forced to choose sides. If a guy feels the need to do something he shouldn’t be separated from his teammates who chooses not to. So we’re not participating today. That’s our decision.”

Last year, Austin Dillon talked about how the sport displays patriotism.

“I don’t know how it would go over with the fans – we’re a very patriotic sport,” Dillon said if someone in NASCAR would kneel during the anthem. “I think our sport does a good job of showing that every Saturday, Sunday of showing patriotism and what the flag means. Not only that, we have a lot of military out here each and every weekend.

“I’ve got SEAL guys that will personally text me and say, ‘Hey, thank you for not moving around (during the anthem). … It means a lot to them just to stand at attention.”

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