After an abysmal — by his standards — 2020 season for Kyle Busch, who won the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series championship, Joe Gibbs Racing has announced sweeping changes to their crew chief lineup for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. The team made the announcement by way of a press release on Tuesday.
Adam Stevens, who has been atop the No. 18 team pit box since 2015 and has guided Kyle Busch to two NASCAR Cup Series championships, will move to the No. 20 team with driver Christopher Bell this season.
In addition to the two championship runs, Stevens and Busch have finished third, second, fourth and eighth in their other four seasons together.
Ben Beshore, who has been a crew chief for JGR in the NASCAR Xfinity Series over the past two seasons, will move to the Cup Series and take the reigns of the No. 18 team with Busch behind the wheel.
Beshore served as Busch’s crew chief for a three-race NASCAR Cup Series stretch in 2017, when Stevens was serving suspension after a loose wheel violation at Dover International Speedway.
Overall, Beshore has won a total of eight races over the past two seasons in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. This past season, he served as the crew chief for Harrison Burton. Beshore’s other four wins in NXS competition came while paired with Busch in 2019.
Chris Gabehart and James Small, who served as crew chief for Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., will stay put in their current positions for the 2021 season.
Hamlin had a seven-win season and finished fourth in the championship standings, while Truex won one race and ended up seventh — one spot ahead of Busch — in the final season standings.
JGR also announced the crew chiefs for their NASCAR Xfinity Series programs on Tuesday. Jason Ratcliff will serve as Harrison Burton’s crew chief on the No. 20 car, while Dave Rogers will serve as Daniel Hemric’s crew chief on the No. 18 team. Jeff Meendering will reprise his role as Brandon Jones’ crew chief with the No. 19 team.
JGR’s fourth NXS entry, the No. 54, will have Chris Gayle turning the wrenches.
According to team owner Joe Gibbs, the reshuffling will result in their optimal crew chief lineup for 2021.
“We go through a process at the conclusion of every season that includes evaluating each of our teams,” said Joe Gibbs, Owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “We believe our crew chief lineup for 2021 will best position each team and driver for success across both series.
“We take a lot of pride in our depth of talent across our entire organization. All of our crew chiefs are proven winners. We are also looking forward to bringing the No. 54 Toyota Supra back to the track in 2021 with an exciting team of drivers.”