Along with Buddy Baker, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Waddell Wilson, team owner Joe Gibbs was one of five men inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina on January 31.
“The NASCAR family is just unreal,” Gibbs said, referencing his concerns about leaving the National Football League and focusing his efforts on America’s top form of auto racing nearly 30 years ago.
“Everyone stretched out their arms. The fans, the fellow competitors … that meant a lot as we took off in racing.”
Gibbs holds the unique distinction of also being a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. During his first stint as the head coach of the Washington Redskins from 1981-92, Gibbs’ teams won three Super Bowls (1983, ’88, ’92) and he was twice named Associated Press Coach of the Year (1982-83).
Following a 12-year hiatus, Gibbs returned to coach the Redskins a second time for four more seasons from 2004-07. Overall, he posted a 154-94 record, good for a .621 winning percentage.
Opened in 1992, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has captured five Cup Series championships: Labonte in 2000, Stewart in 2002 and 2005 and Kyle Busch in 2015 and 2019.
It is fitting Labonte and Stewart joined their former owner in the 2020 class; Busch will surely join the trio following his retirement. Based on his 2019 campaign, however, this date is still several years away.
NASCAR on NBC shared a portion of Gibbs’ induction speech:
Beginning with the Daytona 500 on February 16, JGR will again field four Toyota Camry’s in 2020: The No. 11 for Denny Hamlin, No. 18 for Busch, No. 19 for Martin Truex Jr. and No. 20 for Erik Jones.
The green flag will wave shortly after 1 p.m. ET for the 62nd running of “The Great American Race” on NASCAR on FOX.