Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Denny Hamlin, who was scheduled to drive its No. 18 Dollar General Toyota in Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona, will now take the night off in order to rest a sore back in preparation for Saturday's Sprint Cup Series race. Joey Logano will move from the No. 20 to drive the No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota. Clint Bowyer will now drive the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota for JGR. Brian Scott will remain behind the wheel of the No. 11 Dollar General Toyota.
"My hope was to run the Nationwide Series race Friday night, but I woke up with a sore back earlier this week and feel it's in the best interest of the team to sit it out," Hamlin said. "Luckily it's nothing serious and the extra rest will help me on Saturday night."
Logano won this race last year, and in seven Nationwide Series starts on the famed track he has three top-five and four top-10 finishes. Bowyer has 13 career Nationwide Series starts at Daytona with one win, eight top-five and 10 top-10s. He has won a total of eight Nationwide Series races over the course of his career. This will be his first start for JGR.
"We're looking forward to working with Clint and appreciate his willingness to step behind the wheel for us on such short notice," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "Denny will be fine, but we just felt it was in his best interest to rest his back and not have him have to practice or race in Nationwide this weekend."