Hamlin on JGR culture after Gibbs/Jones drama at Martinsville

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Hamlin on JGR culture after Gibbs/Jones drama at Martinsville


Hamlin on JGR culture after Gibbs/Jones drama at Martinsville


Joe Gibbs Racing veteran Denny Hamlin said Saturday that he spoke to not only Ty Gibbs but also his parents this week after the controversial finish to the Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway.

“Obviously, it was very disappointing — the outcome and how it all transpired,” said Hamlin. “It’s certainly not something I think anyone in JGR was very happy with. I gave my opinion on it, and the thing about it is that I told (Ty), ‘I’ve made a lot of big mistakes and my career, and I continue to make mistakes, but I always listen to the other side to get educated from the other side of why it was wrong.’”

Gibbs did not seem apologetic during a radio interview, in which he referenced Jesus, immediately after spinning teammate Brandon Jones for the win. He not only junked a fellow JGR car but eliminated the opportunity for the organization to have two cars compete for the championship.

However, the young driver has been on an apology tour in the last few days. Thursday at media day, Gibbs expressed remorse for his selfish action and for creating a fracture within the organization.

“I think for a little while he thought it was just about Brandon Jones,” said Hamlin, “But he needed to be sat down and educated on why it was wrong from a bigger perspective — from a Toyota perspective, from the shop’s perspective, from the team, the crew guy’s perspective. There’s just a lot that goes into it that when you become educated, then you start to understand why.

“We don’t want him to feel bad because he’s being told he should feel bad. We want him to feel bad because he understands the totality of it, and I think that’s part of the growing process. As long as you educate yourself on (how) what you did was wrong, then you can learn from it and move on, otherwise you keep making the same mistakes if you don’t get told why it was wrong.”

Hamlin said he has no concerns about being a teammate of the anticipated Cup Series rookie after seeing how a teammate was treated last weekend. It’s expected that Gibbs will be announced as the replacement for Kyle Busch sometime in the offseason.

“I think he was just a young guy really caught up in the moment and just did not put the bigger picture in his brain,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin joined in the social media reaction to the Gibbs/Jones incident. All his tweet said was, “I miss J.D.,” referencing the late J.D. Gibbs., the son of Joe Gibbs, who was instrumental in creating and operating Joe Gibbs Racing and giving Hamlin a shot in the Cup Series in 2005.

Hamlin explained what he meant.

“J.D. really instilled a family atmosphere at Joe Gibbs Racing and I just remember that it was such a tight family unit, and really he made us feel like the guy driving the No. 19 car or the No. 20 car — that’s our brother,” said Hamlin. “We really have to treat them like they’re our brother and our family, and I think at times at JGR, we probably work with each other the least amount of any other team, and that’s just the facts.

“I’m not saying it’s anyone’s fault currently, but J.D. was just different because he really wrapped his arms around everyone. I told Coy (Gibbs), ‘J.D. was my dad.’ He was really my dad as soon as I came into the series, so when you lose that, it changes the culture a little bit, and we just have to get it back.”