Joe Gibbs Racing is making big changes to the pit crew


Kyle Busch will have a new pit crew for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Joe Gibbs Racing is changing the squad for the remainder of the 2022 Cup Series qualifiers. The organization will swap crews for Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.

Bob Bokras of FOX Sports made the news On September 19, before the 12th round of the inaugural race begins at Texas Motor Speedway. That means front shifter Thomas Hatcher, tire racket Lee Cunningham, rear shifter CJ Bailey, Jackman Keelen Mills and fuel-up Matthew Terrell all move to Team 11.

In return, the Hamlin crew will join Bosch for the remaining races. The two-time Cup Series champ will be working with front shifter Blake Houston, tire carrier Jacob Holmes, rear shifter Michael Hicks, Jackman Deryl Edwards and fuel runner Justin White as he attempts to end his JGR tenure on a positive note.

The change coincides with the elimination of the playoff

Denny Hamlin

GTDenny Hamlin stops at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The change comes after the Round of 16 cut-off race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch’s engine expired and he was kicked out of the race, which ultimately disqualified him from competing for the championship.

For comparison, Hamlin dealt with some of his steering issues while trying to accumulate points. He was able to complete the race at Bristol Motor Speedway and turn ninth. Although he had to head back to his pit booth at the final stop due to a loose wheel, which meant he left the pit road in 12th.

Hamlin and teammate Christopher Bell are still vying for a place in the fourth championship. They’ll start Round 12 at Texas Motor Speedway while trying to get an early advantage with either a lot of points or a very important win. They will then head to the Wild Cards at Talladega Superspeedway and Charlotte Ruffal.

The Busch crew has been statistically strong

Kyle Bush

GTTeam Kyle Busch stops at a pit at Richmond Raceway.

There will be obvious questions about why the pit crew would trade, especially in the wake of Busch’s announcement that he would join Richard Childress Racing after the 2022 season.

One of the reasons JGR made the change is because the Busch team has been the best in the cup series all season. His tire changers, Jackman and tire carrier sit on top Strength ratings from Asphalt Analytics.

In addition, Team Busch enters the Texas weekend with the most stops in under nine seconds (six). The closest crew is Stewart-Haas Racing’s #14 team, which turned three stops in under nine seconds. Both teams No. 19 and No. 20 at Joe Gibbs Racing turned two stops in under nine seconds.

By comparison, the Hamlin crew put in some solid performances during the 2022 season. They helped the veteran driver out of the way ahead of Kevin Harvick during the first trip to Richmond Raceway, which played a role in Hamlin’s first win of the year. Rear shifter Michael Hicks, in particular, landed second overall in the power ratings (average of four races) entering September.

While there were some big moments, there were also some difficulties. Hamlin’s crew derailed some strong shows with a few mistimes.

This includes a return to the Richmond racetrack when the final leg took four or five seconds longer and cleared a chance to battle Harvick for the win, as well as a trip to Kansas Speedway where a equipment interference penalty sent Hamlin to the back of the field. Although he recovered and took second place.


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