HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Interstate Batteries, one of the most tenured team sponsors in NASCAR history, begins its 32nd season as the founding sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) with an expanded presence that will feature the brand‘s iconic green livery across all four of JGR‘s NASCAR Cup Series entries.
The introduction of Team Interstate more than doubles the Dallas-based company‘s visibility with JGR, as Interstate Batteries will have 13 primary sponsorships in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2023, up from the six primaries it has typically had each year since 2008.
Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 20 Toyota Camry for JGR, kicks off the Team Interstate effort in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (8 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM). It marks the first time in Bell‘s seven-year history with JGR, which dates back to his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2017, that Bell will carry the green-and-white colors of Interstate Batteries, joining such marquee names as Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte and Kyle Busch.
Then, for the first time since 2007, Interstate Batteries returns as a co-primary sponsor in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 19 when it adorns the sides of Ty Gibbs‘ No. 54 Toyota Camry in the Great American Race. The Daytona 500 will always hold a special place in the respective histories of Interstate Batteries and JGR, as they won their first race together 30 years ago in the 1993 Daytona 500 with Jarrett.
Bell and Ty Gibbs will run the majority of Interstate Batteries‘ races, but veteran racers Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., will each carry a primary Interstate Batteries sponsorship. Hamlin, a winner of 48 NASCAR Cup Series races, will drive the No. 11 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry March 26 at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. Truex, the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion, will pilot the No. 19 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry July 23 at Pocono Raceway.
“One of the great strengths of our partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing over the last 31 years is the way the sponsorship with them has evolved and changed as our needs as a company and brand have evolved. The expansion of Team Interstate on all four JGR cars during 2023 is the next step in the evolution of our sponsorship,” said Norm Miller, chairman, Interstate Batteries.
“Working together, we always find new ways to use the JGR and NASCAR assets to set up new accounts and sell more batteries. We believe in our partnership and the sport of NASCAR, so when we saw the opportunity to double the amount of races as a primary sponsor — and be a part of such crown-jewel races as the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 again — we knew it made a lot of sense. Since we‘ve been with Joe Gibbs and JGR from the beginning, we really feel like all four teams are part of our family, so it‘s very exciting for the stars to align and be a primary sponsor with all the JGR teams for the first time ever.”
After racing at the LA Coliseum, Bell returns to Interstate Batteries colors for the NASCAR All-Star Race May 21 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. The four-time Cup Series race winner keeps his Interstate Batteries livery for a second straight week when he competes in the Coca-Cola 600 May 28 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bell‘s final two Interstate Batteries races are Sept. 24 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and Oct. 29 at Martinsville Speedway.
Ty Gibbs continues his slate of Interstate Batteries races with the Food City Dirt Race April 9 at Bristol Motor Speedway, June 25 at Nashville Superspeedway, July 2 in the inaugural Chicago Street Race, Sept. 24 at Texas and Oct. 8 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
“Our motto at Interstate Batteries is ‘Outrageously Dependable,‘ and this expanded partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing drives home that point. We‘re incredibly proud of our association with JGR. It‘s a program that for more than three decades has resonated with our dealers, distributors and customers,” said Lain Hancock, Chief Operating Officer, Interstate Batteries.
“It‘s a winning combination galvanized by the personalities we‘ve been associated with at JGR, and it begins with Joe Gibbs. His vision and his ability to put the right people in the right places have made his team and our program a massive success. Expanding our presence with JGR allows us to reap the benefits of the organization‘s entire effort, and we‘re blessed to have such a talented group of racers represent Interstate Batteries.”
Interstate Batteries helped launch JGR in 1992. In the 31 years that have followed, JGR has scored 200 Cup Series victories — a number that includes four Daytona 500s — and five Cup Series championships. All of JGR‘s firsts — win (Jarrett, 1992 Daytona 500, pole (Bobby Labonte, April 21, 1995 at Martinsville) and championship (Labonte, 2000 Cup Series title) have come with Interstate Batteries as the primary sponsor. When all of JGR‘s successes are added up across each of the NASCAR series in which it competes, its race victories total more than doubles to 413 (200 in the Cup Series, 193 in the Xfinity Series and 20 in the ARCA Menards Series) with 12 total championships (five in Cup, six in Xfinity and one in ARCA).
“We‘re extremely proud of our partnership with our founding sponsor, Interstate Batteries,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “They have been such an important part of our team for over three decades now, and it‘s exciting to have them on board all four of our cars this season. The best part of our partnership is the relationships we‘ve built with everyone there over the years. It all started, of course, with Norm and Tommy Miller, and now includes Lain (Hancock) and his entire team. It‘s going to be a great season.”
Gibbs, along with three of the drivers who have raced for JGR since its inception in 1992, have been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Jarrett was ushered into the Hall in 2014 while Gibbs, Labonte and Tony Stewart were enshrined together as part of the Class of 2020.