Martin Truex Jr.’s team makes pit crew change

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Martin Truex Jr.‘s team will have a new rear tire changer for the playoffs, the team confirmed Friday to NBC Sports.

Mike Hicks will be the new rear tire changer for Truex’s team. He had been with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Erik Jones‘ team. Jones was the only JGR  driver not to make the playoffs, which begins Sunday at Darlington Raceway (6 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Adam Hartman moves from Truex’s pit crew to Jones’ pit crew.

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Truex enters the playoffs seeded sixth with 2,014 points. Kevin Harvick enters the playoff as the No. 1 seed with 2,057 points. Truex has one win and 17 top-10 finishes in 26 races.

Truex has finished fourth or better in each of the last eight races, including a streak of five consecutive third-place finishes.

“There’s been different things here and there,” Truex said of not winning those races. “I think at times, we have not been the best car, and at times, we have been. It’s really not just been one thing. I think it’s a combination of things.

“We’ve had a few races where the strategy has got mixed up a little bit, and we lost control of the race. In a few races, I felt like we probably should have won, but I feel like in general, other than two or three races, we have optimized what we had and ran second or third.”