Back when I was on a race team, I never worked for an organization that ever had more than two cars on the track. That happened both at Robert Yates Racing and Richard Childress Racing.
Richard always had a great philosophy to do everything we can off the race track to help each other with included sharing notes, information, and technology.
When it came to the on-track situation his ground rules were simple. You race each other as hard as you can. You treat them just like another competitor.
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He also had two Golden Rules that you had do abide by. You don’t wreck your teammate and you don’t help someone else to beat your teammate. Outside of that, it was “Game On.”
As the organizations have grown over time, I always compare it to having kids. The more kids you have the harder it is to control.
When it comes to 2016 and the Toyotas, we are talking about five kids. You have the four Toyotas of Joe Gibbs Racing plus their alliance partner in the No. 78 of Martin Truex Jr.
Unfortunately, I think they have kind of lost sight of where the line in the sand is.
I think they need to go back to the Richard Childress philosophy of helping each other off the track as much as possible but once we’re on the track we’re going to race each other just as hard as anyone else.
I really believe they have to get back to that concept.
Sunday marked the second week in a row where Kyle Busch complained about a teammate racing him too hard. I still get sick to my stomach when I hear any driver complain about someone racing them too hard.
I don’t care if it is a teammate or your arch-rival. Isn’t that why they are all out there?
Aren’t they all supposed to be racing hard?
That’s what I was a part of in my 36 years in NASCAR. I think there are a number of drivers who have lost that concept.
Race each other smart but race each other hard. That’s why these guys are out there and really, isn’t that what they are paid to do?
What the three Gibbs cars did at Talladega made perfect sense. Those three drivers sure didn’t want to race that way but in the big picture, it’s all about winning the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, so that’s what they needed to do.
Back in my day I know what the owners would do and I hesitate to say this, but I sometimes wonder in today’s NASCAR if the owners really ever sit down and explain “the facts of life” to their drivers anymore.
I just don’t know if car owner Joe Gibbs ever sits his four drivers down and says “I pay you a lot of money to drive for me so here’s the way it is.”
I just don’t know if it goes on like that anymore in our sport. I see it as a really big concept going on in our sport of the tail wagging the dog.