HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Team owner Joe Gibbs says it’s every man for himself in Sunday’s Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (on NBC at 2:30 p.m. ET).
Just don’t tell his drivers.
Gibbs is the first owner to place two drivers in the final round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the elimination format debuted in the 2014 season.
And to Gibbs, it’s understandable if Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards hold back proprietary information from each other as they compete for the series title.
“I think there’s some information at the shop that… to be quite truthful, both of them want this in the worst way and they’re going to compete,” Gibbs said on Friday when he and fellow Championship 4 team owners Rick Hendrick and Roger Penske took questions from reporters at Homestead. “They’re not sharing a lot of stuff.
“It’sgoing to be up to them individually, and I think both of our guys, along with (Championship 4 contenders) Jimmie (Johnson) and Joey (Logano), it’s such a big deal for them. We kind of felt like, obviously, they’re going to be kind of individually going for it. So it’ll be at practice today and everything, big deal for both of them, but they’ll both kind of be on their own here.”
Someone forgot to relay that information to Busch, the defending series champion, and Edwards, who qualified ninth and 10th, respectively, for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400.
“Did you know we weren’t sharing?” Edwards asked Busch in the post-qualifying media session.
“No.,” Busch replied.
“No, me neither,” rejoined Edwards.
“Joe is not in our meetings,” Busch added to hearty laughter from the press corps. “Don’t listen to Joe. We’re not sharing with him. Everything right now is all the same—open notebook. I’ve been looking at Carl’s stuff all day. Carl has probably been looking at everybody else, as well as I have, the 11 (Denny Hamlin), the 78 (Martin Truex Jr.), 19 (Edwards), 20 (Matt Kenseth). I’ve been looking at everybody’s stuff all day long, reading some notes and going through some of that stuff and seeing what all is going on within our organization to try to help make ourselves better.
“I mean, that’s what we do, and I think we do that all the way to race time. That’s sort of the game plan, I think, as to what has been said to me anyways from my crew chief. What about you, Carl?”
“Yeah, we haven’t even talked about it,” Edwards replied. “It’s just business as usual.”