NASCAR

Gibbs needs to eliminate mistakes

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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

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When Joe Gibbs Racing looks back on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season its going to think it was a successful year because all three of its drivers won races.

Denny Hamlin has five wins and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup and teammates Kyle Busch and Joey Logano each have one victory.

But if the Gibbs teams ever really wants to contend for a championship, they’ve got to get to where it’s totally dependent on performance. They can’t be caught speeding on pit road. You can’t have the on/off master switch break. You can’t have the engine issues that Busch has had this year.

To me, what happened to Hamlin Sunday at Martinsville with the mechanical failure is almost, as much as I hate to say it and I’m not pointing a finger at anybody because I know those guys are working their guts out over there, but it’s almost typical Joe Gibbs Racing. You just don’t see these things happening with Hendrick Motorsports, for example.

Still, JGR is going to see this as a successful year because it has won seven Cup races. The biggest thing that group has got to do – they’ve got Matt Kenseth coming on board next year, replacing Logano – is they’ve got to figure out how to keep the mistakes for driver and crew and mechanically to a bare minimum if they ever want to win a championship.

Next year, we know JGR will have strength in three drivers who you absolutely know can make the Chase — and who can win the championship.
 

Tagged: Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin

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