This is less than ideal for one of the 16 contenders battling for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series championship. Kurt Busch will be without four of his usual pit crew members for this weekend’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway, according to NASCAR’s Team Roster Portal.
According to a report from FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass, the reason the four team members will be unavailable this weekend is due to COVID-protocols.
An attempt to confirm the report with Chip Ganassi Racing has gone unanswered at the time of this story being published.
Both of Busch’s two tire changers –Cory Baldwin and Steve Price– and his tire carrier — Jeremy Kimbrough — as well as his jack man –Josh Appleby — are all set to be sidelined this weekend. Fueler Milan Rudanovic is the lone member of the usual pit crew roster that will be performing on the No. 1 car this weekend.
Ross Chastain’s pit crew will be used to fill the four spots on Busch’s team this weekend, as Busch is still in Playoff contention.
Busch’s Playoff hopes, as far as pit stops are considered, now rest on the shoulders of Michael Roberts (front changer), Ken Pozega (rear changer), Matthew Simmons (tire carrier) and Shane Wilson (jack).
Chastain will utilize members of the No. 00 StarCom Racing pit crew and members of the No. 7 Spire Motorsports crew this weekend.
Busch elevated to fourth in the Playoff Standings after last weekend’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, as he was one of the few Playoff drivers who had minimal drama in the opening race of the Playoffs.
With a sixth-place finish, Busch jumped up six spots in the Playoff grid.
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