NASCAR’s suspensions of crew members from Kyle Busch’s Truck Series team won’t apply to the Cup Series or Xfinity Series.
Busch pulled in for a four-tire pit stop late in Saturday’s Truck Series race. But after a malfunction on the right-side tires meant a slow stop, Busch pulled away before crew members had a chance to change the left-side tires.
One problem. The lug nuts on the left-rear wheel had already been loosened, and the wheel came off after Busch had driven away from pit lane.
Tuesday, NASCAR announced that Busch’s crew chief Marcus Richmond, jackman Ernie Pierce and tire-changer Cameron Dollarhide had been suspended for three races. That’s the standard penalty for the infraction — with a twist.
The penalty only applies to the Truck Series. That’s important (and very sensical) because Pierce and Dollarhide officially work for Stewart-Haas Racing and have jobs with SHR’s Cup Series teams. Busch had contracted them to pit his Truck team on Saturday and, quite frankly, caused the penalty himself by driving away from the pit box unexpectedly.
If the penalty applied to the Cup Series, Stewart-Haas Racing would be forced to make changes to its pit crews for something its Cup teams had nothing to do with. And the team would undoubtedly be hesitant to lease the services of pit crews to truck teams in the future. That’s a big problem itself because many Truck Series teams don’t have pit crews of their own. They contract on a race-to-race basis with bigger teams.
The penalty is a change from a year ago. A similar instance happened to Busch at Dover in June and to Chase Briscoe’s Truck Series team. In both of those instances, the crew chief and the pit crew members involved were suspended for races in all three of NASCAR’s series.
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