After yesterday’s ISM Connect 300 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, winning team owner, Joe Gibbs and crew chief Adam Stevens of the No. 18 took questions in the media center.
The No. 18 dominated the weekend, starting on the pole, and ending up in Victory Lane yesterday, punching the team’s card to the second round of the 2017 playoffs.
Crew chief Adam Stevens said the fast car and ultimately, the weekend win gave the team a good feel, and showed what the team is capable of.
“…coming to the racetrack prepared and executing all weekend and having great pit stops and having something to show for it for a change, so we’re pretty proud of the effort,” Steven said.
Owner of the four car Joe Gibbs Racing teams, Joe Gibbs was asked what was behind the positive energy surrounding the No. 18 currently. Gibbs said it was a combination of several things.
“Well, I think Adam mentioned it, that we’ve got so many great partners back at the race shop,” Gibbs said.
“Everybody working on the car, we had a big meeting this week. We talked about everybody that touches the cars, all the hard work. I wished all those guys could be here. They can’t. And so I just want to shout out to J.D. [Gibbs] and the whole crew back there, our front office and everybody. It takes a lot to travel, get here, get everything prepared, the cars, race the cars. It’s really hard. It takes a real effort. We’re just blessed to have a lot of great people there, and so I’m just thankful to be a part of it.”
Gibbs said he really appreciated the New Hampshire crowd.
“I’ve mentioned that our sponsors, a number of them, have hospitalities here. It’s a huge deal for them. We’re in the Northeast, and so it’s a big deal for us. So we appreciate all of our fans and everybody that supports it, all of our partners, obviously M&M’s today, Caramel, is a big part of their new kickoff, Toyota, our partner there. So it takes a lot to do this. So I really appreciate all of them and the way they support us.”
Stevens attributed the win partially to the good pit stops, and said they are a key to the sport.
“They have been for as long as I’ve been involved, and they’ll continue to be I assume,” Stevens said.
“You know, we had a couple hiccups last week, and like I said pre‑race, loose wheels happen, they happen to everybody, and then we made a mistake serving our penalty, our or changing tires to fix the loose wheel, and I put as much of that on myself for not covering all my bases communicating with a new group of guys. I could have done a better job, and it bit us. Moving forward from that, you know, they’re trained professionals. They’re the best in the world at what they do, and we made that decision based off of months and months of data and lots of meetings and lots of heartache, and we’re not going to un‑make it based off of one week’s data. I think it showed today that that was a good call, and I think the guys did a great job and rose to the occasion, and I expect nothing less of them the rest of the year.”
“…just given the media attention that some of the drivers have brought to the 78 last week, and I mean, it’s obvious that he wasn’t trying to do anything other than celebrate, and if we can avoid that, I would just avoid it,” Stevens said.
“We have nothing to hide, and they’re more than welcome to look at our car like they always do. It’s just a distraction that we don’t need, so I was just trying to avoid that distraction.”