Notebook: JGR's Problems On Pit Road

Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing needs to clean up mistakes it made on pit road last weekend in the Monster Energy Series post-season opener at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo: Getty Images)

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Joe Gibbs Racing needs to clean up mistakes it made on pit road last weekend in the Monster Energy Series post-season opener at Chicagoland Speedway.

Kyle Busch saw a shot at winning Sunday’s Tales of the Turtles 400 go away when his pit crew made two key mistakes with a loose wheel and a man over the wall too soon.

JGR swapped the crews of Busch’s No. 18 team with the squad from teammate Daniel Suarez and the No. 19 entry prior to the playoffs. Unfortunately, things did not go well for Busch in the first race after the switch.

"Just poor execution all around," said crew chief Adam Stevens. "When you make back-to-back mistakes, it’s tough to recover. At tracks like (Chicagoland Speedway), everyone knows you’re going to get longer green-flag runs. You’re not going to have a lot of cautions to get those laps back. That's the best car I’ve ever been a part of there and not much to show for it."

Busch salvaged 15th place and didn’t dwell on what might have been had his pit crew executed better.

"Gotta move on," Busch said. "Nothing we can do right now."

Team owner Joe Gibbs remains confident that things will improve this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

"This was the best decision for the team," Gibbs said of the crew swap. "You hope things work out for you. Sometimes they don’t. We all go up, we all go down together."

No Competitive Advantage
Brad Keselowski stirred up some controversy over the Chicagoland weekend with his assessment that NASCAR needed to do something about Toyota having such a large advantage over rival manufacturers Ford and Chevrolet.

However, the sanctioning body remains firm that it continues to diligently work in order to keep the competition as even as possible.

"Our job is to put a level playing field out there," Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s "The Morning Drive." "We've got a process that each manufacturers goes through and witnesses. We believe they are on a level playing field. I see it as a bit of posturing."

Martinsville Hosts Late-Model Special
More than 100 late-model stock cars are expected to fill the garage area at Martinsville Speedway this coming weekend for Saturday night’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300. The annual event takes on even more energy this year as the race will be the first held under Martinsville’s brand new LED lighting system.

The ValleyStar Credit Union 300 is NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious late-model event. Race day – Saturday, Sept. 23 - starts with three 25-lap qualifying races to set the field followed by a 25-lap "last chance" qualifying race.

Motor Racing Network - "The Voice of NASCAR" will provide exclusive radio coverage of the race, beginning at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday - with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.

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Dec. 19, 2017 7:00 PM ET

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