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Racing on the NASCAR circuit can be a curious phenomenon. Drivers are both individual competitors and members of a broader team. As USA Network's “Race For The Championship” has highlighted, balancing those, at times, contradictory realities can be a source of great drama.
One of the most prominent teams in NASCAR is Joe Gibbs Racing. Currently, the team boasts popular NASCAR Cup Series drivers like Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch (for now), Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell. The team also has some top-tier drivers in the Xfinity Series such as Brandon Jones, Ty Gibbs, Drew Dollar and Trevor Bayne. As a whole, since its founding in the early 90s, Joe Gibbs racing has earned Cup Series championships in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2015 and, most recently, in 2019, according to the team’s website. Meanwhile, it took home Xfinity championships in 2009, 2016 and 2021, officially making it one of motor sports most decorated and premiere racing teams.
Although it’s hard to imagine NASCAR without Joe Gibbs Racing now, there was a time when it was a humble dream from an unlikely founder.
Gibbs started his sports career as a football coach, working his way up the ladder through the college game before landing a role in the NFL as an assistant in 1973. By 1981, he had his first professional head coaching job, leading Washington. It could hardly have gone better. Over the next decade-plus, he guided the franchise to three Super Bowl titles, becoming the only coach in NFL history to win a championship with three different quarterbacks. But in 1992, he decided to hang up the whistle to try his hand dominating an entirely different sport: NASCAR. That’s when he established the racing team we all know today.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996, but felt the pull of his original sport love in 2004, when he returned to coach Washington for a few more years until hanging up his NFL hat for good in 2007 so he could focus entirely on his NASCAR pursuits. Now, he resides in Charlotte, North Carolina where the team is headquartered when he, his drivers and the pit crew aren’t on the road trying to take home even more championships.
In addition to doing a lot for the sport of NASCAR, Gibbs and his team tend to do a lot for Toyota. The team is made up pretty much entirely of elite vehicles manufactured by the company. In fact, when Kyle Busch won the Cup Series championship in 2015, he became the first driver to reach that accolade from behind the wheel of a Toyota.
In the 2022 season, Joe Gibbs and his team hope to earn yet another Cup Series to their already impressive list of wins. While they do it, all the drama and effort will be captured on camera for “Race For The Championship,” which airs every Thursday at 10/9c on USA Network.
Meanwhile, you can catch more NASCAR content on Peacock right now.
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