Redskins' loss could definitely be Joe Gibbs Racing's, Toyota's, gain
Joe Gibbs was still a presence in NASCAR while he coached the Washington Redskins, but talk around the garage Tuesday centered around what a plus his return will be for NASCAR, his race team and Toyota, writes David Newton.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart were running first and second fifteen laps into the July race at Daytona International Speedway when Stewart appeared to get into the back of his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate coming off Turn 4.Hamlin got sideways, causing both to wreck.Stewart accused Hamlin of checking up and questioned him as a teammate. He also accused the 2006 rookie of the year of trying to wreck him during the Friday practice.Hamlin, insisting he never let up, was so mad that he ignored Stewart's phone calls during the week. In stepped team owner Joe Gibbs.He detoured by Chicagoland Speedway during a family vacation to get both drivers together and correct the situation before it got out of hand.The memory of Gibbs marching back and forth between the haulers of Hamlin and Stewart became prevalent on Tuesday when he retired as head coach of the Washington Redskins for the second and final time.Although his reason for leaving the NFL had little to do with babysitting drivers and everything to do with a frustrating season in which a star player was murdered, a grandson battled leukemia and wanting to spend more time with his wife and grandchildren, it couldn't have come at a better time for the race team he formed in 1992.It came at a time when JGR is transitioning from Chevrolet to Toyota, at a time when Kyle Busch is joining Stewart and Hamlin to create what some in the garage consider a three-headed monster as far as egos are concerned. Nothing against his son, team president J.D. Gibbs, but the organization needed its Coach Joe."They may have more problems than they've had before between the three drivers they have," said J.J. Yeley -- who was replaced by Busch in the No. 18 -- during a break in preseason testing at Daytona. "Not because they're going to fight. Just because there are three guys that want to win and there can only be one winner on Sunday."That creates more problems."J.D., who has been primarily responsible for running the organization since his dad rejoined the Redskins four years ago, laughed and said, "As long as they're going fast ""Across the board he's got a good feel for people," J.D. continued. "He has a good touch with his drivers, crew chiefs, guys working on the floor. Guys respect that and he cares about them. To have him back full time will be real encouraging for everybody."
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JOE GIBBS RETIRES
Joe Gibbs retired as Redskins coach and team president Tuesday, three days after a playoff loss ended an inspirational late-season run that followed the death of safety Sean Taylor.
News• Gibbs retires as Redskins coach, president
• Gibbs expected to resume NASCAR team duties
• NFL coaching changes
Commentary/analysis• Pasquarelli: Failed experiment to bring him back
• Clayton: Job took a heavy toll
• Newton: Redskins' loss could be racing's gain
• Clayton: Possible candidates
• Zoom gallery: Gibbs' career
• Hashmarks blog: What about Cowher?
Video/Audio• Gibbs announces his retirement
• Clayton on Gibbs' departure
• Mortensen: It's no surprise
• Gibbs to retire as Redskins coach
SportsNation• Vote: Did Gibbs tarnish legacy?
• Gibbs' 2007 approval rating