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A Redskin in the Texas Motorsports HOF

As rivalries in sports go, they don’t come any more intense than the Redskins and the Cowboys. Wear your Redskins jersey at Dallas Cowboys Stadium and you better be minding your P’s and Q’s — likewise, if you show up at a game in FedEx Field with a Cowboy’s jersey.
The best advice is to lay off the beer and sit quietly. Anything less is certainly an invitation to trouble.
With this as prelude, last week’s announcement from NASCAR was a bit strange, but at any rate the honors just keep on accumulating for the owner of Joe Gibbs Racing and the three-time Super Bowl winning coach of the Washington Redskins. Even in enemy territory.
Joe Gibbs, once considered a rival in Texas, will now be hailed by the Lone Star State as he will be the latest motorsports icon inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Gibbs, the owner of three Sprint Cup teams and a very successful Nationwide Series program has thus far logged three NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships (’00, ’02, ’05) to go with his three Super Bowl wins. He will be honored April 16, during the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame Gala. The ceremony will be held at the Speedway Club’s Grand Ballroom as part of the prelude to the running of the Samsung Mobile 500 on Sunday, April 18.

Along with Gibbs’ induction, the Texas Motor Speedway and Speedway Children’s Charities will recognize these other outstanding individuals in motorsports. Renowned Sprint Cup Series team owner and engine builder Robert Yates, four-time series Champion Jeff Gordon, veteran motorsports reporter John Sturbin, as well as recognizing the top moment from the 2009 season at the “Great American Speedway.”
“It’s a great honor to have been selected into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame and I want to thank everyone with the Speedway and all those that voted for me to receive this recognition,” Gibbs said. “I’m not so sure everyone in Texas would agree with them, judging by some of the reactions I used to get on the sidelines with the Redskins. But in all seriousness, I have always felt that Texas has some of the best and most passionate fans in the country and certainly their support of the NASCAR community has been outstanding. Any success we have had at TMS should really be attributed to our drivers, crew chiefs, and all the people at Joe Gibbs Racing.”
Gibbs will become the 12th member of the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame, joining previous inductees A.J. Foyt, Johnny Rutherford, Terry Labonte, Lee Shepherd, Kenny Bernstein, Jim Hall, Eddie Hill, Mark Martin, Jim McElreath, Bobby Labonte and Bruton Smith. With his induction, Gibbs becomes the first Sprint Cup Series team owner to earn a spot in the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame.
When it comes to Texas Motor Speedway, no owner has proven more dominate than Gibbs. As an owner in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series, his teams have combined to amass five wins, 18 top five finishes, 35 top 10 finishes, and five poles at the Texas track. In 2009 Joe Gibbs joined Michael Gaughan as the only two car owners to earn four consecutive victories at the track, with Kyle Busch sweeping the Nationwide series races in 2008 and 2009.
Yates, veteran owner of Robert Yates Racing and one of the sport’s all time top engine builders, will be recognized as this year’s “Bruton Smith Legend Award” recipient. Yates established a dominant organization from 1989 to 2009. During that span, his teams earned 57 career sprint Cup series victories, including wins at TMS in 2001 and 2004. Dale Jarrett won the Sprint Cup Championship driving for Robert Yates racing in 1999. The RYR stable of drivers has also included NASCAR greats such as Davey Allison, Ernie Irvan and Ricky Rudd.
Jeff Gordon will receive the TMS Sportsmanship award. One of the sport’s all-time greats, winning four Cup Series Championships to go along with his 82 career wins ranks Gordon sixth on the sport’s all-time wins list. He earned his first victory at Texas Motor Speedway in 2009. Throughout his career he has exemplified the ideals of good sportsmanship. His on-track success has been matched by what he has accomplished off the track. Through the Jeff Gordon Foundation he has raised nearly $10 million to aid crippled children.
You may reach Pete Barber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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