Joe Gibbs Racing has a good problem to have right now. Following Denny Hamlin’s win in last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the ISM Raceway in Phoenix and Kyle Busch’s second place finish to him, the JGR teammates join another JGR driver in Martin Truex Jr. in the Championship 4 this weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Three drivers in four spots. The odds are good that one of which wins the championship on Sunday. They make up 75-percent of the field for the championship. But, it also shapes up for a weird week for them.
See, prior to this week, all four teams have typically worked together on setups for the upcoming race weekend. There’s very much an open book scenario at JGR. They want to be the best and in order to do that, you have to work together.
Now, what happens when three of those four teams are working against one another for the outright crown? See, there’s going to be some separation, but you don’t want too much of it because it can open the door for Kevin Harvick to come and steal the title.
“Obviously this is the first time something like this has happened,” team owner Joe Gibbs said in Phoenix. “I would say there will be some separation this week. Guys will be making preparations. The crew chiefs in particular, we all meet, and we’ll meet tomorrow. But I would say that will be different.
“But I think our preparation and everything, there will be some division this week. I would say at the racetrack obviously it’s going to be, you know, our three teams going for it as hard as they can, each one of them.”
Gibbs, said that this weekend also presents a unique opportunity for the drivers too.
“I think if you think about that, the drivers, how important that is. Denny (Hamlin) obviously has not won a championship. You can imagine how hard he’s going to go for it. Chris is running the show there, has done a fantastic job this year with him. So you can imagine Denny’s situation.
“Then you got Kyle (Busch) would love to have it, is going to go after it as hard as he can. Him today, to be able to finish second, have all the pressure during the race with Joey (Logano) and everything, and then Martin (Truex Jr.).
“It’s a thrill for us to be a part of this. This is going to be kind of a wild week. I think it will be an unbelievable race. I think our fans will enjoy it. I think you got four heavyweights in there. Everybody has a reason to want to win it.”