Joe Gibbs Racing is no stranger to adjusting their pit crews when it comes to the NASCAR playoffs. The team has once again done so, as they have swapped Ty Gibbs's No. 54 crew with Christopher Bell's No. 20 crew.
JGR has made this a routine over the years, especially if one of their teams isn't competing for the championship but has a strong pit crew.
Gibbs just missed making the playoffs, while Bell made the playoffs with his win earlier this season. Gibbs looks to be well on his way to the Rookie of the Year title in the Cup Series and has really started to come into his own. The team felt that Bell needed to have the best support on pit road, so this crew swap was necessary.
Bell's team has had several pit road issues this season that cost him shots at wins and good finishes.
As for Gibbs' team, they proved to be one of the best teams on pit road, as they won the pit crew challenge at North Wilkesboro Speedway during All-Star Weekend and have proven that time and again they are one of the quickest teams on pit road in NASCAR.
Racer's Kelly Crandall was the first to break the story earlier this week.
"Joe Gibbs Racing has swapped pit crews for Christopher Bell and Ty Gibbs ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs," Crandall wrote.
Bell's crew is no pushover, as Bell qualified for the playoffs for the third-straight season, and he was able to reach the championship four in 2022, coming home third overall in the standings. Obviously, JGR believes that Gibbs' crew will benefit Bell, as he is one of three JGR cars running for the 2023 series championship.
Bell's crew chief, Adam Stevens, spoke about the necessary move on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
?? "Everybody recognizes it's the right thing to do to put us in the best possible position as a company."
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) August 30, 2023
"Everybody recognizes it's the right thing to do to put us in the best possible position as a company," Stevens said.
To win a championship at the highest level in NASCAR, it takes a fast pit crew, and Bell's new crew currently ranks in the top three for an average four-tire pit stop.
We shall see if the pit crew swap works out for Bell, as the driver hasn't made that many mistakes this season, but his races have been derailed because of mistakes on pit road by the crew. Now Gibbs will have to deal with the potential issues, but he is only a rookie, so count him out.
Whatever happens, making the change is a smart move before the playoffs start on Sunday at Darlington Raceway.
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