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Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch To Drive The No. 18 New Balance Toyota In Nationwide Series Race At Gateway International Raceway This Saturday

July 15th 2009

Huntersville, N.C. -

For the first time ever New Balance will adorn the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Nationwide Series Toyota driven by Kyle Busch this Saturday night from Gateway International Raceway.

New Balance supplies the crew for each of Joe Gibbs Racing's three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams and two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams with a specialized shoe designed specifically to improve the performance of pit crew members as they go over the wall.

Kyle Busch will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 New Balance Toyota seeking to increase his current lead as the NASCAR Nationwide Series point leader. Busch currently holds a 192 lead over second-place Carl Edwards. He has not run at Gateway International Raceway since 2006 when he finished eighth.

In addition to supplying specifically designed shoes to the pit crews for each team, New Balance provides training shoes for their workout use as well as athletic footwear to JGR's entire travel team, providing support and comfort as they spend long days on their feet preparing the car for race day.

New Balance is currently the only athletic company that still produces a portion of their footwear in the United States.

The Nationwide Race from Gateway International Speedway will be televised by ESPN2 with coverage starting at 9 PM.

Meet the No. 18 New Balance / Joe Gibbs Racing Team

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kyle Busch
Hometown: Las Vegas

Crew Chief: Jason Ratcliff
Hometown: Sumter, S.C.

Car Chief: Leo Thorson
Hometown: Stoughton, Wis.

Engine Builder: Mark Cronquist
Hometown: Eagle River, Alaska

Engine Tuner: Kevin Grubb
Hometown: High Point, N.C.

Engineer: Joel Wiedman
Richmond, VA

Spotter: Jeff Dickerson
Hometown: Indianapolis

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Brad Rothlin (also serves as shock specialist)
Hometown: Fortuna, Calif.

Front Tire Changer: Nick Odell
Hometown: Springfield, Ill.

Catch Can Man: Jon Eicher
Hometown: London, Ky.

Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy
Hometown: Orange County, Va.

Windshield/Mechanic: Toby Bigelow
Hometown: Neilsville, Wis.

Rear Tire Changer: Jack Seminara
Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio

Jack Man: Jason Tate
Hometown: Mooresville, N.C.

Rear Tire Carrier: Eric Groen
Hometown: Sioux Center, Iowa

Other Crew Members:

Truck Driver: Dennis Valverde
Hometown: Albuquerque, N.M.

Tire Specialist: Jason Clements
Hometown: Spartanburg, S.C.

Mechanic: Josh Koch
Hometown: Springville, N.Y.

Scorer: Missy deSouza
Hometown: Charlotte, NC

The Car

Chassis No. 1894: This will be the third race of the season for this chassis, having won earlier this year at Richmond and earning a second place finish in New Hampshire.

About New Balance:

New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance employs 4,000 people around the globe, and in 2008 reported worldwide sales of $1.64 billion. For more information please visit


Chris Helein, Joe Gibbs Racing
Amy Vreeland, New Balance