Joe Gibbs honored with Bill France Award of Excellence
In addition to being recognized as the 2019 championship car owner during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards banquet in downtown Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday evening, Joe Gibbs also was presented the Bill France Award of Excellence, an award not presented by NASCAR every year.
“Our family, we just appreciate everything about this sport,” Gibbs said. “We were worried about coming into NASCAR, and we were welcomed in. It's a thrill for us.”
Gibbs, a multi-time Super Bowl-winning coach, became a NASCAR team owner in 1992. Kyle Busch's 2019 Cup Series championship was is the driver's second but the fifth for JGR. Former NASCAR drivers Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart also won Cup Series titles with Joe Gibbs Racing -- Labonte in 2000 and Stewart in 2002 and 2005. Busch's other championship came in 2015.
JGR set a modern NASCAR record in 2019 with 19 wins in the 36 points-paying races. All four of the organization's drivers -- Busch, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr. -- won races in 2019, led by Truex with seven wins. Busch, Hamlin and Truex advanced the the championship four of the playoffs.
Joe Gibbs Racing dedicated the 2019 season to J.D. Gibbs, Joe Gibbs' oldest son and former President of Joe Gibbs Racing. J.D. Gibbs passed away in January after battling a degenerative neurological diesease. Hamlin raced with J.D. Gibbs' name on his #11 JGR Toyota throughout the 2019 season.