Compared to the winning pace Joe Gibbs Racing kept the previous two seasons, it’s been a long time since the four-car team visited victory lane.
JGR last won 11 races ago in the November race at Texas Motor Speedway with Carl Edwards, who is not racing this year. The last win by a current JGR driver was the fall race at Richmond International Raceway, where Denny Hamlin triumphed.
Now, none of its drivers are in the top 10 in points.
RIR is where NASCAR heads this weekend for a race NASCAR America analyst Steve Letarte believes is “pivotal” for the team that’s won the last three races at the .75-mile track.
“We have to remember this is a new aerodynamic package for this year,” Letarte said. “There’s something about it that hasn’t really suited this JGR Toyotas. I don’t think they have found exactly the right combination, it seems Furniture Row (Racing) has. I look at Richmond, the speeds are a little bit down, aerodynamics won’t be as dominate. Even if they’re not dominate and they don’t win, they have to run better.”