To the asphalt, where Joe Gibbs racing went under the radar switching over to Toyota, while the rest of Nascar nation were still excited about Dale Earnhardt's move to Hendricks, well if you let it slip by you, here's a Nascar Minute.
It was a decision that many questioned, Joe Gibbs Racing left their Chevy's in the garage after a 16-year relationship, to partner up with the unproven Toyota.
Tony Stewart says, "It was definitely a shock for sure because we've always been General Motors and been with Pontiac and Chevrolet. So to hear that we were making that big of an adjustment was a shock for sure."
Stewart's shock was understandable, in 2007, Toyota's debut in the Cup Series, the engine manufacturer experienced very few high-points. winning the pole at New Hampshire in June was about as good as it would get. or so we thought. enter 2008, and Denny Hamlin's win in the 2nd Gatorade Duel. Toyota's first victory in the Sprint Cup Series.
Fellow Gibbs driver, Denny Hamlin states, "Everyone knew it was gonna take Toyota a little bit of time to come into this sport and be as strong as what they were in the Truck Series, But really, it took 2-to-3 years in the Truck Series to be the force that they are now. Uhhh, I think a lot of that has to do with them learning the technology, what it takes to make these cars go around in circles, and other things is getting the right teams and the right drivers in place. and I think they've got that right now."
Right now, Joe Gibbs Racing is looking wise. Entering Sunday's race in Vegas, Kyle Busch leads the season standings, 19-points ahead of teammate Tony Stewart who sits in 3rd.