HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – Interstate Batteries, the founding sponsor and longest-tenured partner of Joe Gibbs Racing, will return to the organization for a 33rd straight season this year.
Debuting alongside the Joe Gibbs-owned team in 1992 with a young Dale Jarrett, the familiar green colors of Interstate Batteries have become synonymous with Gibbs’ fleet of racecars across NASCAR’s top three series.
Interstate Batteries will have a primary presence on all four of JGR’s Toyota Camry XSEs in the NASCAR Cup Series during the season, for a total of 11 races split between drivers Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, and third-generation racer Ty Gibbs.
Bell will kick off Interstate Batteries’ schedule with Joe Gibbs Racing Feb. 18 at Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway during the season-opening Daytona 500, the race which catapulted JGR into the national spotlight in 1993 when Jarrett held off Dale Earnhardt in a battle of future NASCAR Hall of Famers.
Bell looks to deliver the brand its second win in the Great American Race and first in more than three decades. JGR has won four Daytona 500s overall, including three of the last eight courtesy of Hamlin.
The 66th Daytona 500 marks the second straight year Interstate Batteries will have a presence in the Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing, after returning to the race for the first time since 2007 last year with Gibbs.
In addition to the Daytona 500, Bell will represent Team Interstate at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway on March 3, the summer race at Daytona on Aug. 24, and during NASCAR Championship Weekend at Arizona’s Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 10.
A six-time Cup Series race winner, Bell made it to the Championship 4 last season for the second consecutive year and has been a playoff participant in all three of his full-time campaigns.
Gibbs will debut his Interstate Batteries paint scheme April 14 at Texas Motor Speedway, in the backyard of the company’s Dallas headquarters. He’ll also carry Interstate Batteries as a co-primary sponsor in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26, at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway on June 30, and on Oct. 13 when the Cup Series returns to Charlotte to run on the track’s ROVAL configuration.
Hamlin will have two races with Interstate Batteries sponsorship – March 26 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and June 16 at Iowa Speedway – while Truex’s Toyota will be clad in green for the July 23 Cup Series stop at Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway.
It’s the latest chapter in a partnership that covers a significant chapter of NASCAR’s modern history.
“From the very beginning, our association with Joe (Gibbs) and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing has made us feel like we are a part of their family,” said Norm Miller, Chairman Emeritus of Interstate Batteries. “We are very excited to not only return for our 33rd season together, but to add yet another ‘Crown Jewel’ event to our schedule with the NASCAR Championship Weekend as well as returning to the Daytona 500 for the second year in a row.
“Our Daytona 500 win back in 1993 with Dale Jarrett will be a day I’ll never forget, and we are hoping, now 31 years later, Christopher and the entire [No.] 20 team get us back to victory lane in NASCAR’s biggest race.”
It’s the second year in a row that the ‘Team Interstate’ initiative will encompass all four of JGR’s Cup Series teams.
“We saw a lot of excitement among the Interstate system last season when the partnership expanded to all four JGR drivers and teams,” said Lain Hancock, President & CEO of Interstate Batteries. “We are thrilled to be able to add the NASCAR Championship Weekend in Phoenix to go along with our other marquee races, the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600, as we look forward to another successful year for Team Interstate.”
In the 32-year history of Joe Gibbs Racing, the team has won 200 races at NASCAR’s premier level, as well as five points championships (2000, ’02, ’05, ’15, ’19). Every step of the way, Interstate Batteries was aboard as the primary sponsor for all of the team’s major breakthroughs.
JGR’s first Cup Series win (Jarrett’s 1993 Daytona 500), pole (April 21, 1995 at Martinsville Speedway with Bobby Labonte), and championship (Labonte’s 2000 Cup Series title) all came with the iconic Interstate Batteries colors onboard the team’s racecars – a special thought for Hall of Fame owner Gibbs.
“We wouldn’t be where we are as a race team without the support from our founding partner Interstate Batteries for the past 32 race seasons,” said Gibbs, a 2020 inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame who also won three Super Bowls with the Washington NFL franchise. “To think we are entering our 33rd racing season together speaks to how special our partnership has been and the relationships we’ve built with everyone at Interstate Batteries.
“I’ll be forever grateful to Norm and Tommy Miller, who gave us a chance when we didn’t have a building, cars or even employees, and we are blessed to continue to work with great people like Lain (Hancock) and his entire team,” Gibbs added. “There are few partnerships that have stood the test of time like Joe Gibbs Racing and Interstate Batteries have [together].”
Coverage of Interstate Batteries’ season debut, the 66th Daytona 500 at Daytona Int’l Speedway, kicks off Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET, live on FOX, the Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.