JOE GIBBS, owner, Joe Gibbs Racing
“I wanted to meet with everybody and just say that we met this morning with NASCAR and they explained their situation and their decision and, after that, sometimes in life you have to deal with some real tough things. This is a tough situation for us and basically what we are trying to do is go through it the right way. Everybody here with our race team (Joe Gibbs Racing) is trying to meet with everybody that was affected by this and obviously we have a lot of work to do there and a lot of people to see, but we’re going to be trying to go through this and trying to handle everything in the right way."
At what point does the responsibility fall on your shoulders as the team owner? “I think the first part of that question, it definitely rests with me. I think when you own something and you’re the owner, you’re responsible and I think that question is kind of easy for me to answer. I take full responsibility for it and what we’re going to try to do now -- you mention other things in the past and we tried to handle those things the right way and try and make to the right decisions. That’s certainly what we’re going to try to do with this."
What was Kyle Busch’s reaction and the reaction from your partners? “I think, first of all, I met with Kyle (Busch) in his motorhome this morning and I think it was one of those personal conversations you have when a real tough situation like this comes up. I think for all of our other partners that are involved with this -- there’s a number of them -- and we haven’t even had a chance to get with everybody yet, so we’re still trying to go through that as best we can. We’ll be here the whole weekend trying to meet with everybody and try and work our way through this and handle it the right way."
Is Joe Gibbs Racing considering any internal measures? “I think right now we’re just trying to handle the first things first for us and there’s so many things to consider and so many people to meet with. I think that’s our main concern this morning. I wanted to make sure I came over here and had a chance to meet everybody face-to-face and kind of tell where the team was. I think we’re still early in the process and we’re trying to work our way through it as best and fast as we can."
Do you agree with the severity of the penalty and will you talk to Ron Hornaday and Kevin Harvick? “I think the first part of the question was the severity of the penalty. I think when you’re -- I always trust NASCAR, I think they do a great job. They manage this series. It’s grown because of them and how they handle it. I have great faith in the decisions they make. We’ve been a part of this for a long time, we love it. We love being a part of it and we love this sport. I think our sport is where it is because of NASCAR and the way they handle things. This was a tough one for us, as I mentioned sometimes in life you go through tough things. You don’t like it but we’re certainly going to try and work our way through this one and do the right thing and try and handle it the right way."
Do you expect any additional penalties from NASCAR and why did you put Michael McDowell in the No. 18 on Sunday? “I haven’t talked about that. I have no idea what else NASCAR is planning. We were just really with them this morning trying to handle this weekend. I think Michael (McDowell) has been in our cars before. He’s raced some for us and actually been in a car. So, we actually felt like in such a short notice -- we like him a lot, we think he’s a great person. I think he was a natural choice for us."
Do you think there will be any carry over from what happened through the rest of the season or into next year? “I don’t think you actually know. Different times I think drivers have problems or confrontations with somebody and I don’t know, that kind of plays over after a period of time. I don’t think I can probably answer that."