Joe Gibbs Racing has relinquished management responsibility of the pit crews for the No. 77 and 78 teams to Furniture Row Racing, NBC Sports has confirmed.
Fox Sports 1’s Alan Cavanna first reported the change.
The move Wednesday means that Furniture Row Racing has complete control of its pit crews from a personnel side even though they remain Joe Gibbs Racing employees. The No. 77 and 78 crews can still train at Joe Gibbs Racing but any decisions related to performance or status for any race weekend will be made by Furniture Row Racing.
As part of its alliance, Joe Gibbs Racing supplies pit crew members to Furniture Row Racing. JGR suspended two members of Martin Truex Jr.’s pit crew for a confrontation with Adam Stevens, crew chief for Kyle Busch, last month at Indianapolis after Busch and Truex crashed racing for the lead.
JGR suspended front tire changer Chris Taylor and rear tire changer Lee Cunningham three races each for the incident. Stevens was not penalized. Both Taylor and Cunningham return to Truex’s team this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Questions were raised immediately that the suspensions could provide JGR with a competitive advantage over Truex’s team.
“People are always going to say all kinds of things,” car owner Joe Gibbs said July 30 at Pocono Raceway. “I don’t think you can worry about that. Obviously, they’ll be back.”