Tha Sports Junkies 101

Joe Gibbs Racing Penalized after Sonoma



Kyle Busch’s Monster Energy Cup Series team incurred a penalty. The penalty is a result of the 18 car missing 2 lugnuts in post-race inspection at Sonoma. Crew Chief Ben Beshore is fined $20,000, and is also suspended for 1 race.

The primary crew chief for the 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team, Adam Stevens, was suspended 4 races after Dover. His suspension was because of a tire coming off of Busch’s car after a failed pit stop. Stevens has missed the last 3 races, and will likely return next week at Kentucky Speedway.

With the news of Beshore’s sidelining, Joe Gibbs Racing announced Wednesday that Jacob Canter will serve as crew chief for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. Busch and the 18 team will head to Daytona still looking for their first win of 2017.

Busch had 3 wins and a Playoff berth at this point in 2016. Fast-forward a year, Busch has zero wins, over 700 laps led, and is currently 4th in points. JGR as a company is still looking for their first win in 2017. Their last win was with Carl Edwards at Texas last fall.  Busch has a best finish this season of  2nd, at Martinsville and Charlotte.

Busch and Stevens have been a dynamic duo in NASCAR. They have 19 Xfinity Series wins on a partial schedule. In 3 seasons they also have 9 Cup Series wins. This pairing’s tenure also includes Busch’s 2015 championship effort.

2 penalties in the span of a month are not slowing down Kyle Busch or his team. He was arguably the fastest car at Pocono, and had chances to win at both Michigan and Sonoma. In those 3 races, Kyle has results of 9th, 7th, and 5th. Kyle’s season is still newsworthy; many off-track incidents have resulted in much criticism.

Of the 16 races so far in 2017, Busch has been a serious contender in over half of them. A lack of speed has not hampered the 18 team this year. However, a lack of execution and luck has kept them from victory lane. This problem is also evident with Busch’s 3 teammates. By the Playoff standings, Busch and Hamlin are currently in, while Kenseth is 17th in points, 4 points outside of eligibility.

From the onset, 2017 has been full of challenges and surprises for Joe Gibbs Racing. Whether it was Carl Edwards’ sudden retirement, a 16-race winless streak, or shuffling crew chiefs; this powerhouse team has had to endure greatly this season. However, newly found speed and performance for Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth is sure to deliver strong runs and potential wins in the coming summer stretch.