You know Joe Gibbs Racing. The winners of 4 NASCAR Cup Championships, the winners of 165 Cup races, 158 Xfinity races, and three Daytona 500’s. You know the team.
What I told you a team with a third of the funding as JGR would beat them in back to back races? Not only on the race track but on pit road as well. With a driver most people have forgotten about, a crew chief only old-school fans will remember with cars that are nowhere near the caliber of JGR.
That’s embarassing for an organization the caliber of JGR racing in the ARCA Menards Series.
In 2017, JGR started fielding a full-time ARCA team for Riley Herbst. A fully funded operation with TRD backing, sponsorship from NOS Energy, and cars that far exceed anything else in the series.
Since then Herbst and JGR have recorded just one win in ARCA. A singular win in a series where they’re spending fist loads of dollars more than anyone else. A win that came back in 2017 at Pocono, since then the team has gone winless. A few second place finishes here and there but certainly not the performances fans have come to expect from JGR.
Friday in Pocono
Which brings us to Friday night at Pocono. Herbst and his #18 Monster Energy Toyota Camry dominated the race leading 68 of the 80 laps. For most of the race, Ty Majeski and his #22 Crestliner Boats USA Ford Fusion stalked Herbst just waiting for him to make a mistake. On the final pit stop sequence, the #22 team got Majeski on and off pit road faster than Herbst. Once the #22 was out front he set sail winning by 3 seconds.
For the second week in a row, Majeski and Chad Bryant Racing went to victory lane both times beating JGR and the rest of the ARCA field. It’s a huge resurgence for Majeski who was cast out to sea after Roush-Fenway Racing shuttered their Xfinity program for 2019. The best iRacing driver in the country was left with some late model races on his calendar. This deal with Chad Bryant Racing has thrust him right back to the front of a number of team owner’s brains.
For JGR it might be time to reconsider the status of their ARCA program. In 2019 it’s serving as a training ground for Ty Gibbs on the short tracks. For a team as strong as JGR it might be time to reassess their drivers, crew, and state of the ARCA program overall.
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