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Friday, April 19, 2024

Joe Gibbs Expecting “Measuring Stick” at COTA Amid Recent NASCAR Dominance

After some initial stuttering, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) finally appears to have found its pace in the 2024 Cup Series season. With two wins in as many races over recent weekends, the team already has spots fixed in the playoffs. Despite its stock reaching fresh heights, team owner Joe Gibbs looks forward to a crucial race that will fully display the team’s potential.

He told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the coming Sunday’s race in the Circuit of the Americas will be a “measuring stick” to showcase his team’s caliber. His words went: “We were all talking about it, because, we’ve been to restrictive play, to Vegas – mile and half intermediate – we’ve been to short tracks, and now we are gonna go to a road race.”

He continued, “So, I think this is a pretty good measuring stick I’d lean on. You’d probably get a pretty good feeling of your team and where we are at, after this weekend. So this will be a big deal for us.”

Coach Gibbs’ men haven’t yet won in COTA since NASCAR began using the track in 2021. Moreover, their best finish there has been the 3rd place that Christopher Bell brought in 2022. Heading to the 3.41-mile course with little example to lead, they will be hoping to create a breakthrough.

Why Joe Gibbs was concerned with the performance of his team early in the season

JGR has been using the new Toyota Camry XSE to champion its efforts this year. The car came to the season’s initial races in Daytona and Atlanta with strong doubts about its ability to match the power and pace of the Chevrolet Camaros. While it did struggle in the superspeedway races, it has since been able to bounce back strongly.

Gibbs said of the journey, “To be truthful though, when we started restrictive play, we were kind of off. I was kind of concerned and you know, we kind of bounced back in the last three weeks. Feel good about that. You feel good if you see all four of your cars, in our case, that have speed and have been performing. That’s been a real plus for us.”

All four cars that carried the Joe Gibbs name finished in the top ten at Bristol last Sunday. Denny Hamlin’s win came on the heels of Bell’s win in Phoenix the weekend before and marked the team’s consecutive victories. The strong displays from the drivers have put all four of them inside the top eight in the Cup Series standings heading to COTA.

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