Getty Images for NASCAR

Getty Images for NASCAR

Plagued by a string of blown engines, Joe Gibbs Racing is aligning its engine program more closely withToyota Racing Development.

JGR President J.D. Gibbs says in a conference call Thursday that TRD had already helped in several areas but admitted there were areas where "we're struggling."

All three JGR Sprint Cup teams have had engine problems that began with the season-opening Daytona 500.

Denny Hamlin missed a shift that blew the first engine of the year. But Joey Logano's engine failed at Phoenix, Kyle Busch's blew at Las Vegas, Logano ran most of Bristol short on power, and Hamlin's engine failed 105 laps into the spring race at California.

Gibbs says the closer alliance probably won't help much this year and it's more focused on 2012 and beyond.