Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is it time to panic at Joe Gibbs Racing?

   Is it time to hit the panic button at Joe Gibbs Racing?

   Kyle Busch doesn’t think so.

   Busch, the only JGR driver to win a Sprint Cup Series race this season and the only one in the Top 16 in the series standings after eight races, is certainly a good indicator the organization has the ability to compete for a championship this season.

   However, Denny Hamlin, who finished runner up to Jimmie Johnson in the title hunt last season, is 17th in points with just one top-10 finish. Joey Logano is 24th in points, also with a single top-10 finish.

   Busch is currently sixth in points with four top-five and five top-10 finishes.

   “I think we’ve had really good race cars. We’ve been fast and we’ve been competitive and we’ve been able to win, finish top three, be right there and have circumstances not go our way,” Busch said Wednesday at an event in downtown Charlotte promoting the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

   “Those guys, Denny seems to be struggling a little bit and we’re not sure why and Joey’s just had bad luck. There have been glimpses where we have all been good and glimpses of all of us struggling, too.”

   Busch said there are far more things working well at JGR than problems and is confident his teammates have the tools to perform as well as he has this season.

   It’s just a matter of working through the problems and getting better and as the season progresses, try to get all of us in the top-10,” he said.

   This weekend should provide a telltale sign for Hamlin with the Cup series running in Richmond, Va. Hamlin has won two of the last three races there, including last fall. Busch won the race last spring.