American Racing

NASCAR: Is Joe Gibbs Racing back after their Richmond Win?

Was it all a fluke?

Joe Gibbs Racing got a much-needed win last Sunday at Richmond Raceway. Denny Hamlin was among those who went for a two-stop race in the final stage. While the move looked risky at first, it paid off after six lackluster races this year. The question now is? Are they back? Or was this just them being at the right place at the right time? 

Running Well at Richmond

There’s an argument for Joe Gibbs’ guys being at the right place at the right time. After all, Richmond has been Coach’s County for the past decade. Out of the last 20 races for the last decade, JGR has won half of them. 

All of their cars finished the race inside the top 10 and if it wasn’t for NASCAR’s questionable grill tape penalty, Kyle Busch could have challenged his teammates for the win. 

Further back were the other Toyotas from 23XL. They made it clear that despite their technical alliance, Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace are not the same team as JGR. Nonetheless, that’s a story for another day. 

Denny got the win, and so did Toyotas who themselves were struggling not just for a win, but for pace as a whole. Was this a fluke or, can they keep it going?

The Clip

Uo next is Martinsville. The shortest regular-season track in the calendar and a place dominated by Hendrick Motorsports with occasional wins by JGR. Regardless, Hamlin. and company have momentum on their side and a couple more tricks up their sleeves. 

One of them is tires. Despite not having the best on-track performance, they know how to take care of their tires. If they can keep tire wear in check in a place with heavy brake locks and tire rubs, they’ll be good to go. Additionally, they got the new pitstop rules under control. Look no further than one of Kyle Busch’s stops from Sunday: 9.19 seconds. Fastest stop in NASCAR history. 

To untrained eyes, this might seem meaningless, given a 500 mile race distance. Nonetheless, a good stop at “The Clip” could very well spare them losing a considerable number of laps. 

So, Are They Back?

Not quite. Joe Gibbs is close to coming back, however, Martinsville could make or break their momentum for the dirt race at Bristol. Keep a close eye on them at Martinsville. 

 

Missed last week’s race? Check our takeaways from COTA HERE.

Featured Image:  Twitter (@JoeGibbsRacing)

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