NASCAR: Busch & Briscoe Lose Crew Chiefs After Dover Tire Issues

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Kyle Busch will be without crew chief Adam Stevens (left) for the next four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races. (Tim Bradbury/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR announced Wednesday that Kyle Busch’s No. 18 team has been penalized for a safety violation occurring during last weekend’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover Int’l Speedway.

Crew chief Adam Stevens, tire changer Jacob Seminara and tire carrier Kenneth Barber have been suspended for four races, through July 3, after a tire came off of Busch’s Toyota following a lap 18 pit stop in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism.

Busch’s pit crew appeared to drop the jack before the lug nuts were secure on the left-rear tire, causing the tire to come off on the track after Busch had left pit road.

A spokesperson at Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed that the team does not have plans to appeal and Ben Beshore will serve as Busch’s interim crew chief.

Chase Briscoe at speed during NASCAR Camping World Truck Series action at Dover Int’l Speedway on Friday. (NASCAR photo)

NASCAR also penalized the No. 29 Camping World Truck Series team of Chase Briscoe for a similar infraction, where a tire came off during Friday’s event at Dover.

Crew chief Mike Hillman Jr., tire carrier Eric Pinkiert and tire changer Wesley McPherson have been suspended for the next four races, through July 9.

Brad Keselowski Racing issued a statement Wednesday afternoon in response to the issued penalties.

“We are disappointed in the penalty that Mike Hillman Jr. and members of our pit crew received following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in Dover,” the statement read. “We are currently considering our options under the appeal process outlined in the NASCAR rulebook.”

Buddy Sisco will serve as Briscoe’s crew chief in the interim.

Both improper installation penalties were set per section 10.9.10.4.c of the NASCAR Rule Book, governing tires and wheels; and section 12.5.2.6.3.c, which outlines the minimum penalty options.

NASCAR implemented those rules for safety reasons, in order to prevent teams from leaving lug nuts loose on a tire in order to gain track position.

Matt Beckman, crew chief for Matt Tifft’s No. 19 Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, was also fined $5,000 for a lug nut infraction.

CREDIT: NASCAR

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