Joe Gibbs is back in the world of competitive racing after one last brief stint in the National Football League. Since 2008, after leaving the ‘Skins, Gibbs has focused his time and energies on his NASCAR team, Joe Gibbs Racing. The star of his team, of course, is Kyle Busch, who’s more than in contention to qualify for the Chase for the Cup. Gibbs joined WNDE in Indianapolis to talk about his life away from football, how ownership of Joe Gibbs racing is going, and to plug his new book, Game Plan for Life.
On his team and where his drivers stand heading in to the dog days of the summer:
“Well, we’ve had a disappointing two weeks with Kyle Busch. He drove his heart out the week before. At Daytona, I really felt like we had the car to beat but we fell 300 yards short. It’s just one of those things that can happen to ya. Denny Hamlin..on the other hand, he’s had a bunch of Top 5s over this last five races. And he’s on the verge, at one point he’s going to win one or two. That’s for sure. Then we’ve got Joey Legato, a 19-year old that we’re coming along in our Home Depot car. So I think overall, for us, we’ve got two cars right now that would be in The Chase and we’re working real hard. It’s very competitive, but I think we have a chance to win everything this year with our guys. At least we’ve got a chance, that’s what it is, a chance. And that’s all you can ask for in pro sports.”
On if he was as frustrated as his driver Kyle Busch lost his chance at a W at Daytona on the final lap:
“Yeah, I did because really, I think a lot of people did not really understand or get focused on what really happened on that last lap. Down the straightaway, yeah, Kyle got hit, but where that actually started, where the problem really started for us was in the corner. We got hit in three and four – Kyle was almost sideways in there where Tony hit him. And that, as a consequence, slowed us down and put us in a situation where we get hit again on the straightaway. So you know, I don’t get a chance to express my opinion very often in front of people but I know Kyle was totally frustrated and I was too and it’s just one of those things that happens in racing, but you know, I certainly felt like it was a tough break for us and I looked at it as you really can’t be banging and beating on a car in the corners like that at Daytona and that’s why I got as much disappointed as anything.”
On Tony Stewart and the job he’s done as both a driver and an owner:
“I think he’s doing a great job. Obviously, we all know that it’s Hendrick’s equipment. So as far as the equipment, the motors, the chassis and all that, you got Hendrick stuff. But I think where Tony has done a real good job is putting the people together. That’s hard to do, he’s done a good job of that and we all know he’s a great driver. He won 32 races for us so I kind of look at it as he’s certainly done a great job over there and it looks like he’s a real threat to win a Championship this year.”