Interstate Racing History
Although Interstate Batteries is best known for its relationship of 23 years (and counting!) with Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, we've actually been active in motorsports since 1983. Here's a look at our rich racing history.
Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller becomes co-founder of the Interstate Batteries Great American Race, a time-speed endurance rally across the country featuring about 100 antique, vintage and classic cars. The annual event ran for 20 years and took a different route each year, usually running coast to coast and through both small towns and big cities.
Interstate teamed with owner-driver Stanley Smith in the All-American Challenge Series. The short-track, low-cost racing series visited the Southeastern, Mid-Central and West Coast regions, exposing distributors and dealers to Interstate Batteries racing.
Stanley entered his Interstate Batteries Buick Regal in the NASCAR Busch Series (now Nationwide Series) and qualified for a couple of Cup events. Legendary Washington Redskins Coach Joe Gibbs begins to assemble a racing team. With no driver, no crew chief or any employees, Coach Joe cold-called Norm to ask about sponsoring his dream. Watch Video
With driver Dale Jarrett behind the wheel, Joe Gibbs Racing and the No. 18 Interstate Batteries car showed steady improvement throughout the season. The team finished second at Bristol and third at Daytona in July, ending the season 19th in point standings.
Joe Gibbs Racing and Interstate Batteries win their first race: The 1993 Daytona 500. Dale and the team go on to score 18 top-10 finishes and 13 top-fives, finishing fourth in points for the season.
Interstate Batteries teams up with driver Jeff Andretti and the Jack Pagan Racing team for the Indianapolis 500.
Interstate once again sponsors a car in the Indianapolis 500, this time with driver Roberto Guererro, the former Indianapolis speed record holder.
Dale Jarrett wins the Mello Yello 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Bobby Labonte becomes driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet Monte Carlo and wins three times – Charlotte (May), Michigan (June) and Michigan (August). Bobby finishes 10th in points.
The Interstate Batteries Great Race expands across North America, starting in Ottawa, Canada and ending in Mexico City.
Bobby wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Interstate Batteries sponsors the inaugural Cup race at the brand-new Texas Motor Speedway. Bobby finishes third in front of almost 200,000 fans and a national TV audience at the Interstate Batteries 500.
Now driving the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Grand Prix, Bobby wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Bobby wins at Atlanta and Talladega and finishes sixth in points.
Bobby wins five times – Dover (June), Pocono (June and July), Michigan (August) and Atlanta (November). He finishes second in points.
Bobby wins four times – Rockingham, Indianapolis, Darlington and Charlotte. His 19 top fives and 24 top 10 finishes helped him lead the point standings for 25 weeks straight en route to winning the Winston Cup Championship.
Bobby wins at Pocono and Atlanta.
Bobby wins at Martinsville
Bobby wins at Atlanta and Homestead-Miami.
Phoenix native J.J. Yeley becomes the third driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet Monte Carlo. In two years, J.J. had six top 10s, one top-five and one pole. Although he had no wins in Interstate Batteries colors, J.J. did lead the circuits in spectacular crashes, according to USA Today.
Racing switches manufacturers to Toyota, and Kyle Busch becomes the driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries/M&Ms Toyota Camry. Interstate becomes Official Battery of all of Joe Gibbs Racing begins promoting all JGR drivers as Team Interstate.
In his first year with JGR, Kyle wins eight times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including the July Daytona race in Interstate Batteries colors. He also wins the April Nationwide Series race in Phoenix in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota.
Kyle wins four times in the Sprint Cup Series – Las Vegas, Bristol (March and August), and Richmond. He wins the Nationwide Series Championship in the No. 18 Toyota.
Kyle finishes the season with three Sprint Cup wins – Richmond, Dover and Bristol. He also becomes the first driver to sweep all three of NASCAR's top national touring series races at the same track in the same weekend by conquering Bristol Motor Speedway in August.
Interstate Batteries becomes a sponsor for Mike Edwards in the NHRA drag racing Pro Stock division. The 2009 champion raced to eight victories in 11 final rounds, both career bests.
Interstate Batteries celebrates its 20th season with Joe Gibbs Racing. Kyle responds with four Sprint Cup victories, including the August race at Michigan International Speedway in Interstate Batteries colors. (His other victories include Bristol, Richmond and Kentucky.) Kyle also wins the February Nationwide Series race at Phoenix, the first for the all-new Interstate Batteries "White-Hot" Toyota Camry.
In NHRA Pro Stock, Mike races to four wins and finishes in the top five in points for the fourth consecutive season.
Kyle wins once (Richmond) but ends the year with 20 top 10 finishes.
Mike races to two wins and finishes the season in sixth place.
Kyle returns the Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry to Victory Lane twice with wins at Auto Club Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. With two additional wins at Watkins Glen and Atlanta, Kyle finishes the year a career-best fourth in points.
In NHRA Pro Stock, Mike also has a banner year with 15 No. 1 qualifying positions, six victories and a career-best elapsed time of 6.471 seconds in Charlotte. He finishes the season fourth in points.