Busch: Gibbs team hopeful after meeting

Updated: June 19, 2009, 4:02 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

SONOMA, Calif. -- Kyle Busch said he was part of a team meeting this week at Joe Gibbs Racing to discuss why the JGR cars aren't as good as they were one year ago.

"We need to get our cars better," Busch said Friday. "That's the biggest thing. Our cars aren't as good as they were last year. I feel like we've been struggling in some areas.

"Hopefully the meeting will solve some of that and we can continue to get better and learn from some of the mistakes we've made this year. Hopefully we can get ourselves back up in there."

Busch led the Sprint Cup standings one year ago and had four victories entering the Toyota/SaveMart 350. He also won this race last year.

Busch ranks ninth this season with three wins in the No. 18 Toyota.

JGR teammates Denny Hamlin was sixth in the standings last June, but he ranks 10th now. Rookie Joey Logano is 25th in the No. 20 Camry. But Logano still is going through a learning curve as the replacement for Tony Stewart, who ranked 11th in the car one year ago.

Busch said Logano and Hamlin did not attend the meeting this week. Logano had a scheduled appearance in Florida and Hamlin had an appearance in Tennessee.

But Busch said team owner Joe Gibbs was in the meeting, as was JGR president J.D. Gibbs.

"And all the crew chiefs and the head engineers at the shop were there," Busch said. "We just all sat down and talked about what my feelings were in the car, where I felt like we were struggling at and why I felt we were struggling."

Busch has only one top-10 finish (sixth in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte) in the last five races. He has dropped five spots in the standings since March.

But Busch felt his team made some progress at Indianapolis during a test session for Goodyear earlier this week.

"I felt like it went well," Busch said. "We learned some things for ourselves as well as helping out Goodyear."

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter