Will Joe Gibbs Racing Secure Toyota A Title?

by Jim on September 3, 2013 · 4 comments

Until very recently, 2013’s NASCAR Sprint Cup season was shaping up like so many others in recent history. Hendrick Motorsports appeared poised to stink up the show (we mean that in the nicest way) with Dale Earnhardt Jr. running consistently in the early going, Jimmie Johnson looking stout from the outset, and Kasey Kahne lurking around the fairer regions of the leaderboard. While Jeff Gordon has had tough times, he couldn’t be counted out, and still can’t be counted out with one more race before the Chase.

Something’s changed in recent weeks, and it may not be a pleasant development for the anti-Toyota delegation within NASCAR Nation. Two drivers with “Toyota” on their name plate are in an excellent position to land the make their first ever Cup title. Kyle Busch has pulled even with Jimmie Johnson to tie for second in victories, and leading all NSCS drivers is the even-keeled Wisconsin native Matt Kenseth- who won a title for Jack Roush while driving a Ford in 2003.

Are NASCAR fans ready for this? A certain portion doesn’t give a rip, it’s more about the driver. Others are perfectly fine with it. Another portion will offer up weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. You’d think the good old US of A had been invaded by fascists and wiped off the map.

Since yours truly actually owns a Toyota, I suppose you know how I feel. I’m a free market guy: let everybody who qualifies in and let them settle it on the track. If you hate so-called “foreign” makes, then what are you afraid of? Competition is what cranks the wheels of Capitalism. If you can built it better, why shouldn’t you have the right to earn the spoils of victory?

Getting away from the power plants, let there be no question that Jimmie Johnson may be down, but he is far from over as Frank Stallone used to sing. If teammate Kasey Kahne can string a good run together, he will contend, or maybe Dale Jr. if he can get over the victory hump. I wouldn’t count out Kevin Harvick or Carl Edwards or even the recently surging Joey Logano for that matter.

There’s even a possibility that Toyota could get a title courtesy of a couple of Michael Waltrip drivers named Clint Bowyer or Martin Truex Jr. Who knows? The season is that wide open, but man does Kyle Busch look like the man of the moment.

I suspect as the Chase gets into full swing, we’ll see anti-Toyota comments increase. There are usually a few, to the effect of Joe Gibbs and Matt Kenseth being traitors, blah, blah, blah. One time a few years back, I had a reader tell me that he managed a business, and that if I were a job candidate driving up to the storefront with a Toyota or Honda, I was automatically docked 20 points off my interview score. Guess what Hoss? I wouldn’t be real hot on your attitude either.

Jimmie Johnson suddenly doesn’t look like the stone cold lock he once was. It’s wide open, with Ford and Toyota both well-represented among the top contenders. I say “Cool.” Variety is the spice of life.

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1 steven September 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm

you certainly have covered your bases…..

2 Vicki September 5, 2013 at 5:13 am

If I put my Hendrick loyalty aside, it would be nice to see another make win a championship though I’d prefer Ford over Toyota. I don’t hate Toyota but I still have a bit of pro-American bias. So many of my family worked for Ford, Chrysler and G.M. and those were the brands in the parking lot in my high school. I’m not crazed about it though.

If Toyota would win the championship, I’d rather see a Michael Waltrip driver. Joe Gibbs is my least favorite team….not the drivers but the team itself.

If the racing god said it was my turn to pick a scenario this year, leaving out Hendrick, I would choose Greg Biffle. I like the Biff…he’s getting older and it would be great to go out with a championship and how cool would it be to have the first driver ever who won a championship in trucks, Nationwide and Cup? Instant Hall of Fame!

I know that’s not going to happen but……

3 Jim September 5, 2013 at 7:43 am

@Vicki- and you know what else? If Biffle suceeds, he will achieve a first ever NASCAR Triple Crown of winning a Cup, Nationwide and Trucks championship. All he needs to complete the trifecta is the Cup title.

4 Vicki September 5, 2013 at 8:31 am

Yep, that’s what I meant. What an achievement that would be!

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