The No. 8 team, Toyota, owned by Joe Gibbs Racing, wins its fourth NASCAR Nationwide Series owner’s championship. It ties Richard Childress Racing for most all-time owner’s champions in the series. The 18 was driven primarily by Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin. Joey drove it 13 times; Denny drove it 12; Michael McDowell, four; Ryan Truex, two; Drew Herring, one; and Mark Martin, one. The No. 18 car had seven wins in 2012, 22 top 5s and 28 top 10s. J.D. Gibbs, congratulations, Coach Gibbs, congratulations.
J.D., from an owner’s perspective, certainly outstanding performance across the board, and you have to feel proud about that.
J.D. GIBBS: Yeah, we do. I think when you realize it was six different drivers, eight different sponsors on the car, that’s hard to do. It’s hard to do with like one or two, and I think Adam and his team did a great job each week preparing. We had some real young guys, had some veteran guys, and Joey kind of led the charge and brought us this owner’s championship. So it’s a big deal for our team and for us.
Q: Adam Stevens, crew chief in this organization, done an outstanding job. Maybe talk about the success that you guys had.
ADAM STEVENS: Yeah. Well, when you look at the season as a whole, it was pretty impressive. We had a good solid team effort from the other guys and Matt and his bunch and the group of drivers that J.D. just mentioned, and to be able to perform week in and week out takes a lot, a lot of effort, a lot of hard work and a lot of dedication, and that’s what gets you up here at the end of the year.
Q: Joey Logano, certainly been to victory lane many, many times this year in the Nationwide car. Just talk about what that’s meant to you to drive that Nationwide car for Joe Gibbs Racing.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, it was an amazing season for sure. To win nine races is unreal to me; the most I ever won was five in a season. To go to the racetrack and you know you have a shot to win at every single racetrack you go to is really awesome. And obviously driving for Joe and J.D. since I was 15, I’ve been going to that Nationwide shop and seeing those guys there, and it’s where I got my first shot to drive one of these cars. To go out there and, like you said, lead the charge of trying to get out there and win this owner’s championship, I wanted it bad. I was like, man, I want to get this owner’s championship for them before I have to go.
It’s definitely a huge accomplishment for everybody in that shop, both on the 18 and the 20 team, to go out there and do it.
Q. For Adam, J.D. mentioned six different drivers. As a crew chief how difficult is it to maintain continuity in a situation like that where you’re getting different feedback, where you’ve got different driving styles, different setup preferences, stuff like that? How do you manage all that?
ADAM STEVENS: That’s a really good question. It’s extremely difficult. From the little details of how they want their seat mounted and making sure they can see their gauges to the details of how they describe the car, what they’re looking for the car to do, and a lot of times we get some youngsters and they’re not really sure what they want the car to do.
It makes it a challenge, but it makes it more rewarding when you are able to score a good finish with the young guys, and you have to rely on your notes from the veterans when you have guys like Joey and Denny and some of these other guys drive, you know you have to really trust your instincts and look real hard at your notebook and make sure you give the young guys something they can drive, too.
Q. J.D., have you decided on what your Nationwide lineup is going to look like next year?
J.D. GIBBS: We have, and I’m not sure if we can officially say, hey, here’s the deal yet or not. But you’d think at this point — I’ll check right here with the guys. We have. We have a neat little group together. We still might add a few. Our biggest thing in Nationwide, we just love — it’s a great spot for the young guys, crew chiefs, engineers, pit crew, drivers, so we’re trying to add some more to that, as well.
Steve DeSouza’s name is on here real big. Steve runs our Nationwide team, and he deserves a lot of credit here. Just don’t tell him that (smiling).