After a bit of a rough start to the 2013 season, Joe Gibbs Racing’s trio of drivers is starting to find their rhythm.
Matt Kenseth held off the hard-charging Chevrolet of Kasey Kahne to win last Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas to bring Joe Gibbs and Toyota their first victory of the new season in NASCAR’s premier series. Kenseth’s teammate Kyle Busch finished fourth. The two top-five finishes help buoy the championship aspirations for the JGR organization.
In the season-opening Daytona 500, Kenseth and Busch’s teammate, Denny Hamlin, paced the organization with a 14th-place finish. Busch and Kenseth finished 34th and 37th, respectively. The following week in Phoenix, Hamlin finished third, while Kenseth came home seventh. However, Busch didn’t fare as well, finishing 23rd.
Just two races into the new season, Hamlin found himself in good position, sitting fourth in the standings. Kenseth was 18th, while Busch was all the way back in 34th. After strong showings at Vegas, Kenseth moved up to seventh and Busch leapt to 17th, while Hamlin remained fourth.
All three JGR drivers hope to further improve their points standings in Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol, a track at which they’ve all found success.
Hamlin won last year’s fall night race at the short track. Kenseth finished runner-up to Brad Keselowksi in last year’s spring race, and has two victories. In only 16 starts, Busch has found Victory Lane five times.