Tha Sports Junkies 101

Team Orders in NASCAR


In the 2016 Daytona 500, the Joe Gibbs Racing Team had a stranglehold on the top five. All of their drivers teaming up in a single file line around the bottom of the track. This situation caused a large talking point among many NASCAR fans of team orders. Now whether this is a true example of team orders or if it is just an example of great teamwork to ensure a car fielded by JGR won the race, it left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans.

The reason for this is because; in the minds of the majority of NASCAR fans, NASCAR is not in any way shape or form a team sport. When fans see drivers who have always been about winning just be content with running in 5th, it bothers people. When a fan sees their driver content with running fourth, it can certainly rub them the wrong way. What Joe Gibbs Racing did last year in the Daytona 500, while it was smart, went against everything that fans love about NASCAR. Fans want to see drivers go all out for the win, not just run behind their teammate to secure a win for the organization.

However, with this being said from what I’ve seen so far in Speedweeks I do not think that all of the Gibbs drivers will be or board with doing that o. In the Clash, we saw Kyle Busch hop into the outside lane and work with the Penske Racing drivers. As well as the duels Kyle Busch was all over the track, attempting everything he could to win. All that just to try to get the best starting position he possible for Sunday’s race.

This type of racing from Kyle Busch stems from last years Daytona 500. During his post race interview, Busch was visibly frustrated with the situation. This is the closest he has ever come to winning the Daytona 500. Team orders to race for the benefit of the team rather than personal gain got to him. Not only Kyle Busch but last year Denny Hamlin was the driver to go “rogue”. So it is highly unlikely that he will be content with playing second fiddle.

While fans may not like last years Daytona 500, this year is shaping up to be different. JGR will certainly work together but, it’s unlikely it will take until the last lap to see a move made.