After Kyle Busch found himself eliminated from the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Joe Gibbs Racing is switching things up a bit. The pit crews of Busch and Denny Hamlin will be swapped for the rest of the season. This has been done before and the reasoning is perfectly simple.
With Kyle Busch out of the playoffs, Denny Hamlin needs a better over-the-wall crew. It just so happens that JGR’s No. 18 team is the best in the business. Hamlin is sitting 6th in the playoffs standings and is competing for his first championship.
Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass had the news first. It was later confirmed by JGR.
When the playoffs began, JGR thought they had a good chance to send Busch back to the Championship 4. Now, it looks like they are going all-in on Hamlin. Giving him the pit crew that is responsible for the fastest four-tire change and refuel in NASCAR history can only help. This postseason, Hamlin has finished P2, P2, and P9. Arguably the most consistent driver outside of teammate Christopher Bell.
Earlier in the season, JGR made a pit crew swap with Bell’s team and the team of Bubba Wallace. 23XI leases crew members from Gibbs. That swap proved to be major as both drivers have gone on to win races and accumulate some solid finishes. Bell advanced to the Round of 12 on just points alone and Wallace was the spoiler at Kansas a couple of races ago.
Will it be as successful here?
Kyle Busch ‘Devastated’ By Bristol Engine Failure
In two of three races in the Round of 16, Kyle Busch had an engine failure. The latest was at Bristol Motor Speedway. It caused him to finish P34 and got him booted from the playoffs. When the dust settled, it wasn’t a last-second victory like he had on Bristol Dirt this season. Busch didn’t feel great after the race.
“Aboslutely devastated. Just unfortunate circumstances obviously, and another engine failure this week,” he said. “Obviously, we’re already in a hole but it puts us in a deeper one. I can’t stress it enough, just how much I feel for my guys and the ones that are out there pouring their souls into this effort and this opportunity for us to go race for championships. It’s not fair to them.”
Let’s see what this JGR pit crew swap can do for Denny Hamlin.