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November 5, 2011

Joe Gibbs

JOE GIBBS: We wanted to meet with everybody and just say that we met this morning with NASCAR. They explained their situation, their decision. After that, sometimes in life you have to deal with some real tough things.
This is a tough situation for us. Basically what we're trying to do is go through it the right way. Everybody here with our race team is trying to meet with everybody that was affected by this. Obviously we got a lot of work to do there, a lot of people to see. But we're going to be trying to go through this, try and handle everything in the right way.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take a handful of questions. There's not much more Joe can say about this than he already has.

Q. Joe, certainly Kyle has been involved in a series of incidents even in the last year, through his career. Obviously there's some aggressiveness there. At what point does some of the weight fall on your shoulders? I know last night he was not in one of your vehicles, but he's still one of your drivers, one of your employees, you're one of his mentors. In essence, what do you have to do? When does this stop or how do you need to address this situation?
JOE GIBBS: Right, yeah. I think the first part of that question, it definitely rests with me. I think when you own something, you're the owner, you're responsible. So I think that question is kind of easy for me to answer. I take full responsibility for it.
What we're going to try to do now, you mentioned other things in the past, tried to handle those things the right way, tried to make the right decisions. Certainly that's what we're going to try to do with this.

Q. What was Kyle's reaction to all of this? We only saw him leave the hauler with a somber facial expression. We heard over the course of a while that M&M wasn't going to take this again. What is the sponsor reaction to this?
JOE GIBBS: I think, first of all, I met with Kyle at his motorhome this morning. I think it's one of those personal conversations you have when a real tough situation like this comes up.
I think for all of our other partners involved with this - there's a number of them - 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, trying to work our way through this, try to handle it the right way.

Q. I know it's early, but I'm wondering if the team, Joe Gibbs Racing, is considering any internal penalties for Kyle outside of what NASCAR has implemented?
JOE GIBBS: Yeah, I think right now we're just trying to handle first things first for us. There's so many things to consider, 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 have a chance to meet everybody face to face, kind of tell you where the team was. But I think we're still early in the process, and we're trying to work our way through it as best and as fast as we can.

Q. Coach, do you agree with the severity of the penalty that was placed on Kyle today? When you talk about talking to the people affected by this, does that include Hornaday and Harvick?
JOE GIBBS: First of all, that part of it, haven't even got to that yet for me. The first part of the question was, I'm sorry?

Q. Do you agree with the severity of the penalty?
JOE GIBBS: Oh, the severity of the penalty. I always trust NASCAR. I think they do a great job. They manage this series. It's grown because of them and the way 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. We love this sport. So I think our sport is where it is because of NASCAR and the way they handle things.
This one is a tough one for us. But, as I mentioned, sometimes in life you go through tough things and you don't like it. But we're certainly going to try to work our way through this one and try to do the right thing and try to handle it the right way.

Q. Do you expect any additional penalties from NASCAR? Can you talk about why you put McDowell in the car?
JOE GIBBS: 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 had been in our cars before, has raced some for us, and actually been in the car. We kind of felt like with such short notice, we like him a lot, we think he's a great person. So I think he was kind of a natural choice for us.

Q. Coach, do you think there's going to be any carryover into what happened this weekend through the rest of the season and potentially into next season with Kyle?
JOE GIBBS: I don't think you actually know. At different times I think drivers have problems or confrontations with somebody. I don't know, that kind of plays out over a period of time. I don't think I could probably answer that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, everyone.

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