Revenge is a dish best served cold. Crew chief Darian Grubb isn’t going to crow and thump his chest over his victory with Denny Hamlin Sunday; it’s not his style. By the same token, that warm grin on his face quietly speaks volumes about the fulfilling feeling he must be enjoying as he helps the 11 to victory in just his second race with the team after his dismissal at the end of Tony Stewart’s 2011 championship run.
Grubb says he’ll take the high road and stay positive. He won’t brag on himself; but his driver will, and this page will today. The pit boss who once stepped in and directed Jimmie Johnson to victory lane in the 2006 Daytona 500 is on a run that would be the envy of anyone associated with NASCAR. Grubb sat atop the pit box as Tony Stewart reeled off five wins in ten Chase races to snatch the 2011 title. Now, here Grubb is as a key player in a 2012 start that is exorcising the hell hounds that dogged the season runner-up of two years ago last season at the same venue where the sorrows began.
If that’s not leadership, then what is? Can there be any doubt this latest addition to Joe Gibbs Racing is offering a fresh, confident perspective?
Do not read this as a slam on Tony Stewart, or as some kind of veiled “diss” on Steve Addington- the new crew chief for the defending champion. Smoke must have had what he thought were valid reasons for shaking things up in his organization. Still, you know Joe and J.D. Gibbs were more than happy to take Grubb off his hands. Stewart will never say it, but you have to know deep down inside he’s thinking “Really? I let THIS GUY go?” It has opened him up for some Monday morning quarterbacking.
The season’s barely started, and who knows how this will really shake out. an examination of history says we won’t really know regarding Stewart until sometime in September. With that said, Darian Grubb’s tale is a great story.
If you prefer loud, flamboyant, chatty champions, more power to you. They aren’t in short supply. Give me a champion who faithfully brings his lunch pail and gives me an honest day’s work for an honest day’s wages. That’s the way of Darian Grubb. Give me Darian Grubb.
Other articles by Jim McCoy include:
Is It Over Yet? Perseverence Prevails
The Greatest Of The Great American Race
It's Stand & Deliver Time For Joey Logano