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NASCAR Cup: Joe Gibbs Racing suspends members of Martin Truex Jr.’s pit crew

Martin Truex Jr. (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Martin Truex Jr. (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Joe Gibbs Racing has suspended front tire changer Chris Taylor and rear tire changer Lee Cunningham of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota team of driver Martin Truex Jr. for the next three races as the result of a verbal confrontation between the two men and Adam Stevens, crew chief on the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team of Kyle Busch during Sunday’s Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

JGR has the ability to suspend members of Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 pit crew, because they are actually employees of JGR, provided to FRR. The two race teams have a technical alliance. The decision to suspend Taylor and Cunningham was an internal decision made by Joe Gibbs Racing. NASCAR took no action. Stevens was not penalized.

“Our No. 78 pit crew is hired, trained and managed by Joe Gibbs Racing,” Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser said. “They are one of the best 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.”

Busch and Truex ran first and second throughout the Brickyard 400 until wrecking on lap 112 while racing for the lead. Truex took blame for the incident. Stevens entered the No. 78 pit box after appearing to be taunted by at least one No. 78 crew member while appearing to be en route to the garage, and that’s when the verbal altercation occurred. There was slight physical contact in the form of touching Stevens’ arm while Taylor and/or Cunningham told him to get out of their pit box.

Joe Gibbs Racing is not speaking on the incident, other than confirming that Kip Wolfmeier and John Royer will be the fill-in crew members on the No. 78 team.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (Facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (Facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on July 27, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,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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