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“What If?” Part II: What if Joe Gibbs Racing Had Stayed with GM?

It could have happened. Joe Gibbs Racing had been with General Motors since they started, first with Chevrolet, then with Pontiac, then back with Chevrolet. Driver Tony Stewart had a long personal association with GM.

Furthermore, Toyota’s initial foray into NASCAR racing in 2007 was dismal—their array of startup and third-tier teams struggled to even qualify for races, much less run competitively. Toyota once even confiscated driver Michael Waltrip’s car to analyze it and see why it was running so slow.

However, Gibbs realized he would never be one of the top teams at GM—Hendrick and Childress would always be ahead of him. So, he took a chance and moved his team to Toyota in 2008. They surprised everyone when they wer...

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