NASCAR teams and organizations are a mixed batch of alliances and friendships that often stop at the start/finish line of a race track. Friends, partners, and even brothers set their relationships aside and fight it out for track position and points on the way to the championship.
One such alliance resulted in some off track disciplinary action this week. Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs owns four teams – the eleven car driven by Denny Hamlin, the 18 car driven by Kyle Busch, the 19 driven by Daniel Suarez, and the number 20 car driven by Matt Kenseth. Coach Gibbs also has a technical alliance with Furniture Row Racing – the number 78 car driven by Martin Truex Jr and the number 77 car driven by Erik Jones.
During the Brickyard 400 last Sunday (July 23) at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr were running nose to nose for the lead when the two drivers crashed, taking both cars out of the race. After the on-track crash, on pit road members from both teams also engaged in an altercation.
As a part of their alliance, Joe Gibbs employs members of Furniture Row Racing. As a result of the altercation, Gibbs suspended two crew members of the number 78 team – tire changers Chris Taylor and Lee Cunningham. The drivers have been suspended for three races and will be replaced by Kip Wolfmeier and John Royer for the races in Pocono, Watkins Glen, and Michigan.
Speaking on the suspension Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser said, “our number 78 pit crew is hired, trained and managed by Joe Gibbs Racing. They are one of the best pit crews on the circuit and have kept us up front all season. We admire the talent and dedication of our pit crew and support all of the decisions and actions taken by Joe Gibbs Racing.”
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