Friday, 19 April 2024

Part two of my reflections on the year that was, and what’s to come in 2024, for Cup series teams:

Joe Gibbs Racing
Results; Christopher Bell (4th in points); Denny Hamlin (5th in points); Martin Truex Jr. (11th in points); Ty Gibbs (18th in points) 
Grade: A-

Despite only one driver making the Final Four, this was a very strong overall year for Joe Gibbs Racing, with 8 wins between the trio of Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell. Ty Gibbs did not win, but he did run very well as a rookie and had the second-best finish in the points among non-playoff drivers. With all four drivers returning in 2024, I expect all four, including young Ty, to make the playoffs and several to make deep runs. 

Denny Hamlin’s continued struggles with completing a title run will once again be at the forefront of conversation next season, but I wouldn’t put it out of the realm of possibility that Hamlin does win it all in 2024, and Truex and Bell could be right there beside him battling for the title.

Published in NASCAR

It was a dream finish, Cinderella-like you could say, for Justin Haley at Daytona on Sunday, when he took home the victory In the brand-new, underfunded Spire Motorsports #77 car, after staying out on track following a caution, and being scored the leader when the race was called due to inclement weather.

Sunday’s race was declared official with 33 laps remaining and with Haley sitting in the No. 1 position. 

It’s not a stretch to call this the biggest upset in Cup series history, as Sunday was only the third MENCS career start for Haley, and he hadn’t sniffed a strong finish in those three starts prior to his turn of good luck.

Haley’s talent is not in doubt, as he has shown at the Xfinity level what he is capable of doing, nearly winning on Saturday in that series at Daytona as part of a Kaulig Racing 1-2 finish.

The day was strong overall for Chevy, who finished 1-2-3-4 with Haley, William Byron, Jimmie Johnson and Ty Dillon. Kurt Busch was also a contender for the win, giving up the lead by pitting just before the race was red-flagged to hand the victory over to Haley.

Below is the full transcript of the press conference featuring Haley, crew chief Peter Sospenzo and Spire team owner T.J. Puchyr:

Published in NASCAR

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