Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that SunEnergy1 will sponsor four NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season with Matt Kenseth, Sam Hornish and SunEnergy1 CEO Kenny Habul sharing the driving duties.
Hornish will pilot SunEnergy1's debut race next weekend at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, while accomplished road racer Habul goes behind the wheel on the road courses of Road America and Mid-Ohio on June 21 and August 16 respectively. Kenseth will handle the driving duties in Atlanta on August 30.
Habul's direct involvement in this program makes this sponsorship unique to say the least. Habul raced open wheel in Australia from 1997 to 2005, competing in the Australian Formula Ford Championship and including three years in the Australian Formula 3 Driver's Championship Series with Piccola Scuderia Ferrari Team in Sydney.
However Habul never forgot his childhood dreams and continued to pursue opportunities to race in NASCAR. That opportunity came on June 23, 2012 when he made his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Road America and earned a solid 16th-place finish. Habul has made six career starts, but this will be the first time he will be in a JGR built Toyota Camry.
"I'm excited for this opportunity," said Habul. "It is a great partnership for SunEnergy1 to align with Joe Gibbs Racing and drivers of the status of Hornish and Kenseth. "It is also a thrill for me personally to drive first class equipment and be part of the Gibbs family."
Hornish has already made three starts for Joe Gibbs Racing this season with a win at Iowa Speedway on May 18 and a fifth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3. Hornish has three career Nationwide Series victories along with 30 top-five and 55 top-ten finishes in 101 starts.
Kenseth will pilot the SunEnergy1 Toyota in Atlanta. In nine Nationwide Series starts thus far in 2014 he has four top-five and eight top-ten finishes. Kenseth has 28 career victories in the series along with 129 top-five and 180 top-ten finishes in 273 career starts.
"Kenny has a tremendous passion for racing but also for his business and we were able to help him build a program to help in both areas," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "He has built SunEnergy1 to become a leader in solar technology and I know first-hand the effort he has put in as a driver."