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Richard Childress Racing Makes Changes to Kyle Busch’s Pit Crew Ahead of Phoenix

Kyle Busch pit crew changes Richard Childress Racing Phoenix Raceway 2024

Photo Credit: Will Bellamy, Racing America

The No. 8 Richard Childress Racing team has had speed on-track in every race to start the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, but on pit road, it’s been a different story. The No. 8 RCR pit crew has had some really rough outings through the opening three events, which has led Kyle Busch to not obtain the finishes he deserves in two of the three races.

As a result of the subpar performance on pit road, Richard Childress Racing has made sweeping changes to the over-the-wall pit crew for Busch’s team beginning with this weekend’s Shriners Children’s 500 at Phoenix Raceway.

According to the NASCAR Team Roster portal, front changer Michael Russell has been replaced by Shiloh Windsor for this weekend’s race. Additionally, rear changer Chris Jackson has also been swapped out with Michael Johnson.

Doug Warrick has been named the replacement for jackman Garrett Crall.

The elevation of Warrick to jackman marks the second time that the No. 8 team has made a change at the jackman position this season as Crall was tapped to replace original jackman Josh Sobecki following the season-opening Daytona 500.

Fueler Justin White and tire carrier Lamar Neal will continue in their roles for this weekend’s race and are the two remaining crew members from the original 2024 No. 8 RCR crew roster.

While it feels odd to make such massive changes to a pit crew three races into the season, a rash of errors has hampered Busch and the No. 8 team greatly so far this year.

The No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was one of the best cars in the season-opening Daytona 500, but on one of the pit stops in the race, the left front tire was left loose, which put Busch in a precarious position as he attempted to limp back to pit road to get the situation addressed.

Fortunately, it happened on a yellow-flag round of pit stops, and even more fortunately, Busch was able to get the car back to pit road without the wheel flying off of his No. 8 machine.

Busch would finish 12th in the Daytona 500 after leading 12 laps, but with the pit road error, the No. 8 team was dangerously close to losing multiple laps, which would have happened had the wheel flown off.

This past weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Busch slid through his pit stall on the final green flag stop of the day, which resulted in a penalty, and forced the driver of the No. 8 to finish back in the 26th position.

But before the miscue by Busch, the No. 8 pit crew had been among the slowest on pit road throughout the duration of the event.

According to Bozi Tatarevic, the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing team ranked 34th in average pit stop speed (11.49 sec.) at Las Vegas ahead of only the No. 44 NY Racing Team, the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing team, and the No. 42 LEGACY MOTOR CLUB team.

Busch led 18 laps in the opening stage of the Pennzoil 400, but due to continually losing ground on pit road throughout the race, he never was a factor at the front of the field for the remainder of the day.

After leading laps in all three of the races this season, and having one of the best cars in all three events, Busch has just one top-10 finish to show for his efforts. A change had to be made, and Richard Childress Racing opted to make it now rather than wait.

Now, the No. 8 team will hope for more consistency on pit road this weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

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