For the first time in NASCAR history, one car owner has suspended a different team’s crew members.
Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Thursday (Jul. 27) that it was suspending two crewmembers from Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 team.
JGR has a technical alliance with FRR, and along with that, provides its pit crews. The FRR crew members are on the JGR payroll and that is why Gibbs has the right to suspend them.
Chris Taylor and Lee Cunningham, the front and rear tire changers for the No. 78, face a three-race suspension for an altercation with Kyle Busch‘s crew chief Adam Stevens during Sunday’s Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The incident started after Busch and Martin Truex Jr. made contact while battling for the lead on lap 111, totaling both race cars. In footage shown on Fox Sports 1’s Race Hub, Taylor and Cunningham can be seen having words with Stevens after he approaches the No. 78 pit stall. The two teams had pit stalls right next to each other in the event.
“Our No. 78 pit crew is hired, trained and managed by Joe Gibbs Racing,” FRR team owner Barney Visser said in a team statement. “They are one of the best pit crews on the circuit and have kept us up front all season. We admire the talent and dedication of our pit crew and support all of the decisions and actions taken by Joe Gibbs Racing.”
Kip Wolfmeier and John Royer will fill in for Taylor and Cunningham for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway, Watkins Glen International and Michigan International Speedway.
About the author
Michael Massie is a writer for Frontstretch. Massie, a Richmond, Va. native, has been a NASCAR superfan since childhood, when he frequented races at Richmond International Raceway. Massie is a lover of short track racing and travels around to the ones in his region. Outside of motorsports, the Virginia Tech grad can be seen cheering on his beloved Hokies.
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