“Such an example of teamwork—people say you have three different cars, but really, truly it takes great teamwork at this level,” owner Joe Gibbs said. “I think it's been Kyle at some mile-and-a-half stuff helping Denny. I think right now both of them have really helped Joey.”
See? Cooperation has its benefits.
Admittedly, it didn't come easily. Gibbs, Hamlin and Busch met in Hamlin's hauler after the all-star race. When Hamlin fanned the flames of the rivalry with some snarky comments before the Coca-Cola 600—”I didn't say that I was going to take over this team or be the leader of this team, but somebody's got to be the leader. It ain't going to be Kyle.”—Gibbs had another stern talk with the driver of his No. 11 Toyota.
If harmony breeds success, then success also takes the edge off animosity. Between them, Hamlin and Busch have won six of the past nine Cup races—and the series crown is beginning to sit uneasily on Johnson's head.