Live Audio Coverage of NASCAR: Is Richmond the track Joe Gibbs Racing turns 2022 around at?

By Terrin Waack 

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Joe Gibbs Racing, home to four NASCAR Cup Series winners, hasn’t won a premier-series race since Sept. 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Six more races passed after that in 2021 and six races have passed in 2022.


This Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM) would be the perfect opportunity to end the winless drought at 12 races since the sponsor doubles as Joe Gibbs Racing’s manufacturer. And the venue, Richmond Raceway, could be the reason it happens. The 0.75-miler is the team’s most successful track on the schedule with 17 wins, which also tops the competition.

RICHMOND: Weekend schedule | Betting odds | Paint schemes

Most recently, and therefore most importantly, Joe Gibbs Racing has won eight of the last 12 races at Richmond.

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*Note: There was only one race at Richmond in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two of those victories even saw a 1-2-3 finish from Joe Gibbs Racing. Following Martin Truex Jr. across the finish line in September 2021 were current teammates Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell, in order. Further back in September 2019, Kyle Busch came in runner-up and Hamlin rounded out third.

Actually, the only race in that group that didn’t see at least one Joe Gibbs Racing pilot in the top three at the checkered flag was September 2017.

All this is quite the contrast to the present. Joe Gibbs Racing has two top-five results among its four drivers through six races. Busch and Bell have one apiece. Busch was fourth at Las Vegas. Bell was third at Circuit of The Americas.

Meanwhile, Truex’s best showing has been seventh at COTA. Hamlin’s is 13th at Phoenix Raceway.

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Joe Gibbs Racing’s odds of being victorious in Virginia, according to BetMGM (as of Thursday afternoon), stand as: Truex and Busch both at 9-1, Hamlin at 10-1 and Bell at 14-1.

Busch’s six career victories at Richmond lead all active drivers, the most recent coming in 2018. Truex’s three wins all came in the past five races. Hamlin also has three, last in 2016. Bell hasn’t won, but he placed fourth (spring) and third (fall) in the two 2021 stops and also led laps (10) in the latter.

A Toyota parked in the Toyota Owners 400 Victory Lane would be fitting, and Joe Gibbs Racing could make it happen.

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