LONG POND, Pa – Car owner Joe Gibbs defended the decision to suspend two JGR pit crew members who work on Martin Truex Jr.’s Furniture Row Racing team, saying video of their confrontation with crew chief Adam Stevens at Indianapolis didn’t show everything.
Gibbs declined to reveal what else happened.
“No sense in going in all of that,” Gibbs said Sunday morning at Pocono Raceway. “(The video) didn’t show everything.”
Kyle Busch, who starts on the pole, said Sunday: “It was pretty poor reporting by much of everybody with the TV camera and everything else. How they cut it short. Obviously there was some instigation going on, and Adam didn’t feel that was all that necessary and wanted to make sure those employees knew that, knowing that they were JGR in-house employees.
“He probably wouldn’t have done that if they were in-house Furniture Row employees, so it’s just the nature of what all was going on there, and who the people where there and who they were associated with.”
Issues started when Truex, the points leader, and Kyle Busch wrecked on a restart while battling for the lead last weekend at Indy. Truex took the blame. Busch said he got a text from Truex on Monday (“Things happen,” Busch said, “you move on.”).
Afterward, Stevens, Busch’s crew chief, walked by the Furniture Row Racing pit on the way to the garage. Video shows Lee Cunningham, a rear tire changer on Truex’s team clapping. Stevens walks into the Furniture Row Racing pit stall and confronts Cunningham. Chris Taylor, front tire changer on Truex’s team, then comes over and shoves Stevens, telling Stevens to get out of the team’s pit box.
Joe Gibbs Racing announced this week it was suspending both crew members three races. Joe Gibbs Racing supplies the pit crew to Furniture Row Racing as part their alliance.
“I think we took what we felt was the appropriate action,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs said Sunday he isn’t worried about those who suggest the decision to suspend those crew members hinders Furniture Row Racing by taking away both its tire changers for three races.
“People are always going to say all kinds of things,” Gibbs said. “I don’t think you can worry about that. Obviously, they’ll be back.”
Gibbs also said there was no reason to discipline Stevens.