Just Win Baby? Not In The Chase Playoffs
Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing was left on his own in some very danger territory on Sunday at Talladega. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Put a microphone or notebook in front of professional race car drivers and ask them about anything remotely close to strategy and nine times out of 10 you get a face full of cliches about how winning is the one and only strategy.
Then on the tenth of the 10 times you ask, you get the truth. You get the answer that is not only the most transparent but also the most sensical.
Sprint Cup team owner Joe Gibbs came forth with that answer after Sunday’s Alabama 500 at Talladega. He admitted that his strategy for three of his four drivers was simply to cruise – to put as much distance between them and trouble and guard their position in the Chase point standings.
Gibbs says they complied.
“Yeah,” he said, “I think really guys would rather be in the situation where they feel like they’ve got to go win. I think the drivers kind of all feel that way, but at the same time it’s a playoff and you’ve got to say what is smart and so you certainly don’t want to make a big mistakes of some kind and cost your sponsor and everybody that’s wrapped into this.”
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