NASCAR's Dynamic Duo
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on September 23, 2013 | 2:20 P.M. EST
Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch have combined for 11 wins, 21 top-five finishes and 32 top-10s this season for Joe Gibbs Racing. (Photo: Getty Images)
It really might not be such a silly question this season for Joe Gibbs Racing, but where do they put all those trophies they’re collecting?
There’s only so much display space at the team’s shop and some of it highlights owner Joe Gibbs’ Hall of Fame NFL career.
The team needs more display space because its cars have won 11 races each in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series this year. Think about it this way: JGR has won 40 percent of the Cup and Nationwide races run this season.
That’s a lot of photos of Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch in Victory Lane, while teammate Denny Hamlin looks for his first win of the year. Kenseth added to the collection Sunday with his win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In the last six weeks, JGR has won 7 of 14 Cup and Nationwide races.
"If you get the right people in your organization, the rest is easy," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR.
It seems to be this season. Kenseth, who joined the team after last season, and Busch have finished first and second each of the past two weeks. They also are one-two in the point standings heading into this weekend’s race at Dover. Kenseth leads Busch by 14 points.
Could the title race be among only teammates this year?
"What a terrible problem to have, huh?" Kenseth said. "It's tough racing (Busch) because you know that you're not going to be allowed many mistakes."
Kenseth credits Busch and Hamlin with helping him improve, and Busch says Kenseth has done the same for the organization.
"He's had a good sense this year ... adding to our program," Busch said, "whether it's been the engine stuff or chassis stuff or what he's felt with his cars in years past and what our cars do differently. It's like when I came over from Hendrick (Motorsports), I had the same thing. I was like, 'Well, we did it this way. We did it this way. We did it this way.' I think it just adds to the volume of our team just knowing some of the principles that other race teams have and what they do to make themselves better."
Consider what JGR has accomplished this season in Cup:
- Its 11 victories are nearly double Hendrick Motorsports’ total and are more than the combined total by Roush Fenway Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Penske Racing.
- JGR drivers have led more than one-third of the laps run this season (2,772 of 7,951).
- JGR also has won nine poles in 25 attempts (the field was set by points three times because qualifying was cancelled).
These are totals Hendrick Motorsports used to have.
"At the end of the day, I don't think it matters if anybody thinks you're the favorite or if you're the underdog," Kenseth said. "At the end of Homestead, it just matters who has more points."