Notes of Interest

● Outrageously Dependable for 33 Years and Counting: Interstate Batteries has 11 primary sponsorships on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule in 2024, a similar number of schemes to last year’s expanded presence among all four JGR Toyota Camry XSEs. The Coca-Cola 600 is the second of four primary sponsorships on Gibbs’ No. 54 Camry this season with Gibbs sharing Interstate Batteries and Monster Energy as co-primaries this weekend. Bell and Gibbs will run the majority of the Interstate Batteries races with eight primaries total between the two drivers. Denny Hamlin also returns for the second of two races sporting Interstate colors at Iowa Speedway in Newton in June, and Martin Truex Jr., will carry a primary Interstate Batteries sponsorship for one race on the No. 19 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway in July.

● Interstate Batteries Stands the Test of Time: Former JGR and Interstate Batteries driver Bobby Labonte created some special memories for sponsor and team during the 1995 edition of NASCAR’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600. In his first season with JGR, Labonte led 85 of the 400 laps en route to his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series victory. Labonte went on to win 21 total races and the 2000 Cup Series championship in what became a NASCAR Hall of Fame career. Each of Labonte’s 21 wins came with Interstate Batteries adorning his car for JGR. Gibbs is also looking for his first career cup series win this weekend at Charlotte.

● NASCAR Salutes: As part of #NASCARSalutes and the 600 Miles of Remembrance initiative during the Coca-Cola 600, the No. 54 Interstate Batteries/Monster Energy Camry will be honoring Private First Class Mitchel Thomas Morton, who lost his life on March 21, 1969, in Vietnam and led a life devoted to his family, his faith, and, ultimately, his country. In 1968, PFC Morton joined the Marines, and his dedication to his country took him far from his hometown of Norwood, North Carolina, to the challenging terrains of Vietnam, where he served with honor in the Da Nang area of South Vietnam. Tragically, his service was cut short when he was killed in action just four months into his tour, marking a solemn day for all who knew him. PFC Morton’s life, though brief, was a testament to his strong character. He was a member of Porter Baptist Church, a reflection of the faith that guided him. His service and sacrifice are a poignant reminder of the cost of war and the valor of those who serve. Gibbs and everyone on the No. 54 team thank PFC Morton and all those who have sacrificed so much for our great country.

● Semper Fi & America’s Fund and Interstate Batteries: Interstate Batteries continues its

collaboration with Semper Fi & America’s Fund to provide crucial support for our Nation’s critically wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, and military families from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. This partnership focuses on funding adaptive transportation to support independence and deliver the best quality of life possible. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, cars with adaptive modifications can cost up to $80,000. However, the difference these vehicles make in the lives of service members, veterans, and military families is priceless. This weekend, Gibbs will feature the Semper Fi & America’s Fund logo on his No. 54 car to promote and encourage donations for this vital cause. Contributions can be made at

● Just a Little Bit Closer. Gibbs makes his 64th career start in the NASCAR Cup Series this weekend at Charlotte. He’s had a strong start to his sophomore season in NASCAR’s top series, recording four top-five finishes and seven top-10s, and leading 349 laps in the 13 points-paying races contested so far this season. Sitting at the top of his to-do list is scoring his first career Cup Series win, and he’d like nothing more than to bring home that first victory in his hometown race near JGR headquarters.

● Gibbs heads to Charlotte seventh in the driver standings with 390 points, just 96 behind series leader Kyle Larson. Three of the four JGR drivers reside inside the top-10 in points heading to the 14th race of the season, with Truex. second, Denny Hamlin third, and Gibbs seventh, while JGR’s Christopher Bell is 15th in helping propel Team Interstate’s strong start.

● At the age of 19 years, 9 months and 20 days, Gibbs made his first career NASCAR Cup Series start last July 24 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for 23XI Racing. He became the 37th driver younger than 20 years of age to make a Cup Series start. He started at the rear of the field but completed all 160 laps on his way to an impressive 16th-place finish.

● Dazzling Debut: Gibbs was victorious in his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in the February 2021 race on the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway road course. He led 14 of the 56 laps and became the youngest driver to win an Xfinity Series road-course race at 18 years, 4 months and 16 days. The native of Charlotte, North Carolina, also became the second-youngest winner in Xfinity Series history behind Joey Logano, who won in June 2008 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta at the age of 18 years, 21 days.

Ty Gibbs, Driver of the No. 54 Interstate Batteries/Monster Energy Toyota Camry XSE

Where do you think you and the No. 54 team stand as you enter in the summer months with the Coca-Cola 600 this weekend and beyond?

“I think our team is doing a great job. We are slowly getting better and I’m getting better, as well. I love racing with these guys and working on things every week. We have been good on the 1.5-mile tracks this year and hoping we can get our Interstate Batteries/Monster Energy Camry up front this weekend and have a shot at the end of a long night. Bobby (Labonte) won his first Cup race in the Coca-Cola 600 in an Interstate Batteries car and hoping maybe we might be able to do the same thing this weekend. We are going to give it our best shot.”

You are an active guy during the week, biking, workout out, etc. With the Coca-Cola 600 being so long, how do those things help you in such a long race?

“It definitely put me to the test last year when I did the 900 miles with the Xfinity and Cup races ending up on the same day with the rain. It would be really cool some day to do the 1,100 miles with the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. I feel like I prepare really well. I’ve been around a lot of great athletes in my family and I consider myself an athlete.”

How much more do you feel like you have this year when you go to your best tracks versus last year?

“I think just having more experience has really helped. Charlotte – I’ve had a bit more track time with with Xfinity and a little bit of ARCA. It is helpful to have experience there. I feel like it would be a lot different if we had more practice like they did years ago. You just have to use the valuable sim time you can get, study and go after it.”

Joe Gibbs Racing has been very strong over the last few seasons. How do you describe the dynamic at the team right now?

“First of all, we need to give all of the thanks to the Joe Gibbs Racing aero department, along with Toyota. The new Toyota Camry XSE body – they’ve just done a great job with it. They’ve worked really hard on it, so it is great for all of them. Our team is great, and I have great teammates – they all have different characteristics, which is really cool, and I think that is really helpful with a team. We all come from pretty different backgrounds, so it’s a good atmosphere there and, in our meetings on Mondays, I can tell we all want it. All of the great feedback is just going to help us get better and better.”