Pit crew members

Chase Elliott’s tire carriers return to original positions

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The front and rear tire carriers on the No. 24 of Chase Elliott have switched positions, a move that returns them to their roles prior to a switch toward the end of last season.

PitTalks.com first reported the change, which has Dion Williams and Jared Erspamer returning to their roles as front and rear tire carriers, respectively, beginning last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

Elliott earned his first top-five finish in the Duck Commander 500.

Williams, a member of Hendrick Motorsports pit crews for nine years, is a former linebacker at Wake Forest.

Erspamer played football at Northwest Missouri State, where he also coached for three years before getting into NASCAR.

Martin Truex Jr.’s pit crew has new tire changers

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LOUDON, N.H. –Martin Truex Jr., who is battling to advance in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, will have two new tire changers this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the team announced Friday.

Dave Collins, the team’s regular front-tire changer, suffered an ankle injury Wednesday during pit practice. He will be replaced by Josh Franko, who had been a backup pit crew member for Michael Waltrip Racing.

Adam Hartman will be the rear tire changer, replacing Kyle Turner. Hartman has been a backup crew member for MWR.

Although Furniture Row Racing is based in Denver, Colo., its pit crew works out of Michael Waltrip Racing’s shop in Cornelius, N.C.

This is the second Chase team to make a change to its pit crew this week. The No. 18 of Kyle Busch will have a new front-tire changer.

Truex enters Sunday’s race at New Hampshire (which can be seen on NBCSN), 11th in the standings. He is seven points ahead of Jamie McMurray, who is 13th and would be the first not to transfer. The top 12 will advance to the second round after next weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway.



JGR changes Kyle Busch’s front-tire changer for New Hampshire

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Joe Gibbs Racing has confirmed to NASCAR Talk that Nick Odell, the front-tire changer on Kyle Busch‘s No. 18 team has been released from his contract with the team.

Odell’s departure was described as an internal team matter and unrelated to any punishment from NASCAR.

at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on February 14, 2014.
Josh Leslie (Source: Germain Racing)

Odell, who had been changing tires on the No. 18 since 2008, will be replaced by Josh Leslie in Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Leslie has worked with JGR in the Xfinity Series and had been the front tire changer for the No. 13 Chevrolet of Casey Mears at Germain Racing. According to Germain Racing’s website, the Mount Clemens, Mich., native has 14 years of experience in racing.

The move comes just two days after Busch finished ninth in Sunday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway, the opening race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

The news of Odell’s departure initially was reported by PitTalks.com.

JGR’s move comes on the heels of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team changing its front-tire changer before the playoff opener at Chicagoland Speedway.

Report: Change made to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pit crew

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Leading into the first Chase for the Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway, Sunday on NBCSN, there has been a small shake up on the pit crew of Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s No. 88.

NASCAR.com reports David Mayo will return to his role as front-tire changer after having been replaced earlier in the season by Kevin Novak.

Novak was the tire changer at Darlington and Richmond.

Rear-tire changer Devin DelRicco will continue in the role after replacing Joe Slingerland earlier this summer.

Sunday’s MyAFibRisk.com 400 starts at 3 pm ET.

NASCAR will not penalize pit crew members for rushing to aid Austin Dillon


NASCAR officials plan to talk to pit crew members who rushed to aid Austin Dillon after his last-lap crash but will not penalize them, Steve O’Donnell told NASCAR SiriusXM Radio on Tuesday.

Pit crew members from the teams of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Casey Mears were among those who ran to Dillon’s car, which landed upside down near the exit of pit road after crashing into the catch fence at Daytona International Speedway.

O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, explained on “The Morning Drive” what officials want to discuss with the pit crew members.

“Nobody is going to be penalized,” O’Donnell said. “I think people may be commenting on it because we took some hard cards (that will be returned upon meeting with officials) and the reason for that is we want to have a conversation with those folks. Listen, we all applaud everybody who wants to run to a scene and try to help out. That’s something that I think that is really cool about our industry in terms of people caring about their fellow athletes.

“We just want to talk about the safety aspect of it. We’ve got to dispatch our safety equipment – those folks are experts – and to be able to get to Austin as quickly as possible, assess the scene, his belts, what may be going on, do we need to turn the car over, can he be moved from the vehicle or should he stay in. Any second that we can’t do that because the car may be surrounded can be a challenge. That’s just a conversation we want to have.

“We’ve also seen guys where someone running out has been hit by a safety vehicle, not at a NASCAR race. We’ve seen some pretty severe injuries in other forms of motorsports. We just wanted to walk through it with those guys. We applaud the fact that they care. But you know, it was all in the interest for us, going forward, that we respond to the driver in the most correct way possible.”