The playoffs are set to start in a matter of days, and one of the top contenders for the NASCAR Cup Series championship is making a major change.
Kyle Busch announced he is changing pit crews for the playoffs, and he is swapping pit crews with rookie Daniel Suarez. Five of Busch’s pit crew members were on his 2015 championship team.
Busch said at playoff media day that he wanted the change so he could have more speed and consistency each week.
“My guys, they would have speed, but the speed that they had was occasional and the consistency that they had was less than stellar,” Busch said. “When you can have a faster group and their consistency is better, there’s no question you’ve got to take them.”
Changing pit crews this late in the season with a championship at stake is a bold move, but Busch expects a smooth transition.
“As good as the pit crews are these days, as fast as they are, I feel like even though some drivers might stop a little different, some might stop shallow, some might stop left, might stop long, whatever it might be in the box, I feel like the pit crews are so fast now that they can adjust so quickly that it doesn’t matter,” Busch said.
“You don’t see that time much anymore where arguably years ago when Matt Kenseth was super fast with the Killer B’s, it was always because Matt stopped the same every single time and they knew where he was going to be and just planned for that. Now a days I think our guys are all fast enough, they’re athletic enough, they go where you’re at.”
Busch’s new crew will include front tire changer Clay Robinson, front tire carrier Kevin Harris, rear tire changer Kip Wolfmeir, rear tire carrier Matt VerMeer, jackman Trey Burklin and gas man Kenneth Purcell.
Busch had one of the best seasons of any driver this season, and he is among the favorites to win the championship this year. If his pit crew is improved and faster, he will continue to be among the fastest drivers each week.
(h/t NBC Sports)