By admin | August 25, 2008
By Richard Allen
Joe Gibbs, his family and his organization are among some of the most respected people in racing, or all of sports for that matter.
After Michigan the leaders of Joe Gibbs Racing were understandably upset and no doubt embarrassed when members of their team attempted to manipulate a NASCAR test by placing magnets under the accelerator pedal of their Nationwide Series cars.
Almost certainly, Joe Gibbs and his son J.D. were anxious to get to Bristol and put the Michigan debacle behind them. And for the vast majority of the Sharpie 500 it looked as if the race was going to provide the medicine they needed to get rid of that Michigan headache.
Kyle Busch led over 400 laps of the event and appeared to be cruising to victory. And more, JGR drivers Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart ran in the Top 10 for most of the night. As a matter of fact, at one point all three of the Gibbs Toyotas were running in the Top 4 on the leader board.
However, Carl Edwards ruined the hopes of a cure-all win when he forced his way by Busch on lap 470 then pulled away from both Busch and Hamlin in the waning laps of the race.
The bumping incident left Busch so frustrated that he chased down Edwards on the cool down lap and drove into the side of his Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Even J.D. Gibbs was so angered that he warned Edwards he might expect to reap what he sowed.
The medicine wound up leaving a sour taste in the mouths of the Joe Gibbs Racing team.
Still, the night was not a disaster by any stretch of the imagination as JGR cars finished 2nd, 3rd and 8th. Busch may have left a bit angry but for the other two the night in Bristol was important in that it helped them move closer to securing a spot in the Chase for the Championship.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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