Joe Gibbs on losing Cup Series championship to Furniture Row Racing: ‘That hurt’

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Joe Gibbs visits the 'NASCAR Race Hub' Toyota preview show to detail how he felt about his team losing the 2017 Cup title to sister-team Furniture Row Racing.

- Coach, I know in any sport, every single year there's a different dynamic to every team, right? So when you look at this team this season, what's the dynamic?

- I would say for us on the cup side, it's kind of interesting. Two vets. OK. Two young guys. And that's going to really be interesting as everybody knows. I think this year on the cup level it's going to be exciting. We've got a group of young guys. We've lost some guys everybody knows, some of the stars. But we got a group coming in there.

It's going to be interesting and a challenge for all of them because they're going to be looking around and I think they're going to be matching themselves up. There's about six of them, and it's going to be interesting to see what happens. And we've got two of them.

- The question I've got-- you know, through all your experience from other sports, from football in particular, you get into racing and you talk about experiences versus, you know, guys that are learning. Where does your role fit in there? How do you blend this to where you make it into a continuation of a successful organization?

- Yeah, I'm not sure of my role really. I like to spend a lot of time in our competition meetings and listening. I'm not the technical guy. But I think the fact that you're dealing with crew chiefs and drivers, that dynamic. And then we're dealing with all the technical stuff over there. The guys building the cars and everything.

And then my other side of it is the sponsorship side and keeping everybody happy. So really, I think it's more just working with the people. I love the competition meetings because 10:30, it's seeing those guys and talk about what happened on the weekend. And they kind of charting where we're going from a competition standpoint. I love that aspect of it. I'm not the technical guy but overall I kind of feel like I get the picture.

- When you talk about the competition as a competitor, which you're fierce even today about making sure everybody's focused and doing their job, how frustrating or how much does it drive you to come up just a couple of car lengths short after 38 weekends racing for a championship and being that close to winning it?

- Thank you for bringing up [INAUDIBLE].

- Way to go, Michael.

- Yeah, way to go.

- No free swag for you.

- I got to tell you, a lot of people walked out there happy and everything. That was hard to take because everybody kind of knows we made certain decisions there. I was the guy that made decisions and Coy and we all talk things over. But from a ownership standpoint, I think the thing that came out of the year for Toyota-- it was really a great year. And so that's probably one of our number one goals.

But you also have the sponsors. What's different about our sport is, everybody knows, you have the sponsors make huge investments to help us over the years. And they're great partners. And we got some of the biggest and best. And so when you come up 100 yards short, it's disappointing. Let me say that.

And you know, I got to say this, I called everybody inside of Mars. Norm Miller at interstate. We had such great conversations and they were just awesome. And they said, hey, if we're going to lose somebody, we understand. 78 was really strong all year. They're, in a way, a sister team, where we do share some things together. So I think they understood. But I will say this, that was painful. That hurt.