Mike Hillman Jr.

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Kyle Busch Motorsports announces 2020 driver, crew chief lineup

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Kyle Busch Motorsports announced its driver-crew chief roster for the 2020 Gander Outdoors Truck Series season on Wednesday. It includes the addition of veteran Danny Stockman.

Stockman will be in charge of the No. 51 Toyota, which will be driven by Kyle Busch, Chandler Smith and more drivers to be announced at a later date.

Stockman was a long-time crew chief at Richard Childress Racing, most recently working with Austin Dillon in the Cup Series this season. He was Dillon’s crew chief when he won his titles in the Truck Series (2011) and Xfinity Series (2013).

Ryan “Rudy” Fugle will be paired with Christian Eckes on the No. 18 Toyota. Fugle worked on the No. 51 this year as it won six races, including all of Busch’s five wins and Greg Biffle‘s victory. Fugle has led KBM teams to five owner titles (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019) and two driver titles (2015 and 2017).

Mike Hillman Jr. will be the crew chief for Raphael Lessard‘s rookie season in the No. 4 Toyota. Hillman has two Truck Series titles, including Toyota’s first in 2006 with Todd Bodine.

 

Kyle Busch Motorsports unveils Truck Series crew chief, driver lineup for 2019

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Kyle Busch Motorsports on Tuesday unveiled its crew chief lineup for its three full-time NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series teams in 2019:

* Ryan “Rudy” Fugle will oversee the No. 51 Toyota Tundra. Team owner Kyle Busch will compete in five races, with other drivers yet to be announced for the other races on the schedule.

Fugle has led KBM teams to four owner’s championships in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, as well as driver championships for Erik Jones in 2015 and Christopher Bell in 2017.

In 114 races with KBM, Fugle has called the signals for 22 wins, 20 poles, 57 top fives and 71 top-10 finishes among a variety of drivers. He’s coming off a 2018 season that saw driver Noah Gragson earn one win, a series-leading six poles, eight top fives and 17 top-10 finishes en route to a second-place finish in the series.

* Mike Hillman will serve as crew chief for the No. 18 Tundra and driver Harrison Burton. Hillman is a two-time Truck champion crew chief over 11 seasons. He has earned 22 wins and 19 poles.

Burton has one pole, four top fives and seven top-10 finishes – with an average finish of 6.3 in nine starts with Hillman as crew chief.

* Marcus Richmond will return as crew chief of the No. 4 Tundra and driver Todd Gilliland. Richmond has spent 13 seasons and 265 races as a Truck Series crew chief, collecting 10 wins, 17 poles, 61 top-five and 129 top-10 finishes with six different drivers (Ty Dillon, Noah Gragson, Kevin Harvick, Timothy Peters, Johnny Sauter and Dennis Setzer).

Last season, Richmond’s team — including Gilliland in 19 events and two other drivers — had three poles, 305 laps led, five top fives and nine top-10 finishes.

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Brad Keselowski Racing crew chief faces suspension for wheel coming off

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DOVER, Del. — Rookie Chase Briscoe’s crew chief, front tire changer and front tire carrier each face the prospect of a four-race suspension after the left front tire rolled off during Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway.

Section 12.5.2.6.3.c of the series rule book states: “Loss of wheel(s) due to improper installation will result in a mandatory minimum four Race suspension of the crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier of the lost wheel(s).’’

NASCAR called crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. to meet with series officials after the race.

Hillman said the team had no lug nuts attached to the left front when the jack was dropped, signifying for Briscoe to leave his pit stall, which was closest to pit exit.

“I think the (air) gun was in reverse,’’ Hillman said. “Being in the first stall … you don’t have a chance to stop on pit road and fix it. You’re hollering ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ When he stops, the tire came off.’’

Hillman understands the rule and what he likely will face.

“It’s a safety thing,’’ he said. “We’ll see what NASCAR has to say and work through it.’’

Any penalties are expected to be announced next week.

Should NASCAR enact the suspension, Hillman, the tire changer and tire carrier would miss races at Texas Motor Speedway (June 9), Gateway Motorsports Park (June 17), Iowa Speedway (June 23) and Kentucky Speedway (July 6). They’d be eligible to return for the July 19 race at Eldora Speedway.

Briscoe, who started on the pole, finished 12th for Brad Keselowski Racing.

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