Two-time Cup champion Kyle Busch reveals details of his split with crew chief Adam Stevens, saying in an interview with Graham Bensinger that he was “shocked” that he and Stevens would not be together for the 2021 season.
Busch and Stevens were paired in 2015 and won two championships together before splitting after last year’s one-win season. Ben Beshore is Busch’s crew chief this season.
Asked by Bensinger about the change, Busch said: “The communication was never a problem. The work ethic was never a problem. Just something wasn’t working or clicking. I asked Adam for a couple of changes to be made over the offseason, and he didn’t agree with my philosophy on those changes. So he said, ‘You know what, I’m going to do something different and let you do something different and we’ll see what happens.’ ”
Busch said the changes he requested were personnel changes.
Asked about Stevens’ response, Busch said: “I was shocked because I was like, well, essentially you just told me you quit on me. OK. See you later. Now I have to go find somebody else on who is going to be the next guy to step in and take over the reins.”
Busch went on to say: “I flat out told him in the beginning of our conversation, ‘Look, I believe in you. I trust in you. I want you. You’re my guy. We’ve done this already for six years. We’ve won two championships. There’s chemistry here, and we have a working relationship where we understand one another.
“When we’re at the racetrack and we’re under normal circumstances, every time we’re in the practice sessions and I ask for changes or I talk about how the car is reacting and he makes changes, we always improve. I haven’t had that with a lot of crew chiefs.
“Sometimes you talk about the same thing over and over again … from the moment you unload to the moment you go home there’s never improvement, there’s never change. Adam has been the first guy on any given weekend, there’s always change in the car and how it feels and that’s what I liked about it and him. That’s why I didn’t want to lose that. But, I guess all good things must come to an end.”