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NASCAR Cup: COVID-19 exposure leads to more pit crew shuffling for JGR

LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA – JUNE 26: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Pocono Organics CBD 325 at Pocono Raceway on June 26, 2021 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


COVID-19 exposure has sidelined a couple of pot crew members ahead of Sunday’s ForeKeepers Casino 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

Lee Cunningham, the regular rear tire changer for Denny Hamlin on the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team, will sit out the MIS race because of team protocols. He will be replaced for the race by Dwayne Ogles, usually the rear tire changer for Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. on the No.23 team of 23XI Racing, will sub for Cunningham. Marcus Horton, usually on the No. 37 JTG-Daugherty Racing team of Ryan Preece, will sub for Ogles on the No. 23 crew. Bryan Backus will be Horton’s sub on the No. 37.

The 23XI Racing team is co-owned by Hamlin and has a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. Even though JGR is a Toyota team and JTG-Daugherty Racing fields Chevrolets, JGR supplies pit crew personnel for JTG.

The Michigan race weekend is the second-consecutive race weekend pit crew personnel have been shuffled between Joe Gibbs Racing and JTG-Daugherty Racing because of COVID-19 exposure.
Brad Keselowski’s No. 2 Team Penske pit crew also has been affected by COVID-19 exposure in the past week. Front tire changer Ryan Flores is out for the Michigan race. Backup crew member Justin Prevette will substitute for Flores at MIS.

Flores’ exposure to COVID-19 came at the same time driver Corey LaJoie was exposed to the virus in a TV studio. LaJoie also will miss the race. Part-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry will sub for LaJoie.

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Posted by on August 22, 2021. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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