Bubba Wallace, Christopher Bell Land New Pit Crew Members

Christopher Bell

Getty Christopher Bell's team will have new pit crew members.

Two NASCAR Cup Series drivers will have some new members of the pit crew for the upcoming trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway. Joe Gibbs Racing has made changes to the No. 20 team of Christopher Bell and the No. 23 team of Bubba Wallace.

The NASCAR Roster Portal revealed the changes and then Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed them to NBC Sports. Wallace will now have Houston Stamper as the front tire changer and Joe Crossen as the tire carrier, both of whom are from Bell’s No. 20 team. Though Stamper joined the group starting with the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway in May.

Bell’s team will have a new front tire changer in Jackson Gibbs and a new tire carrier Nick McBeath, both of whom have spent time with Wallace’s team. Like Stamper, Gibbs was a new addition to the lineup for the race at Kansas Speedway. Additionally, AJ Rosini joins as the new rear tire changer after he spent time as a tire changer for Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar team.

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JGR Supplies the Pit Crews for 23XI Racing

Bubba Wallace

GettyBubba Wallace’s team conducts a pit stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Wallace’s crew has struggled throughout the season with issues on pit road. There were multiple penalties at Kansas Speedway, a lost wheel at Circuit of the Americas, and a loose wheel at Nashville Superspeedway.

The numerous incidents have sent Wallace’s No. 23 Toyota to the rear of the field and forced him to mount several comebacks. The Alabama native finished the trip to Kansas in 10th place despite a tire violation and a crew member over the wall too soon, but he told NBC Sports that “Pit crew sucks.”

The latest issue, which took place at Nashville Superspeedway, was due to a loose wheel. Wallace was running sixth at the time, but he had to return to his pit stall. He fell a lap down while the No. 23 sustained some damage after a hard stop resulted in Tyler Reddick hitting him from behind.

Wallace unleashed his frustration over the radio with comments to crew chief Bootie Barker. He told Barker to “leave me the f*** alone. Don’t talk to me the whole f****** race.”

Media members asked Wallace if it was acceptable how he talked to his crew chief after the pit road mistake. He responded by saying that Barker and his crew understand the frustration. He added that the outburst was a product of his passion to win.

“Want to win,” Wallace said. “Need to win. Got to win. Had the team capable of winning. The car is capable of winning. So that just creates passion. With passion comes frustration. Just got to manage it.”

Wallace & Bell Are in Different Situations

Christopher Bell

GettyChristopher Bell (top) & Bubba Wallace (bottom) race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway will provide Wallace and Bell with another opportunity to contend for a spot in the playoffs. Though they are in very different situations with eight races remaining in the regular season.

Bell is currently in the final transfer spot heading toward Atlanta Motor Speedway. He is 20 points above the cutline and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick after Reddick won at Road America and took one of the available playoff spots.

Wallace, on the other hand, is 25th in points after the first 18 races of the season. He is 177 points behind Bell, and he sits in a must-win situation heading toward Atlanta, especially with only three spots currently held by winless drivers.

Will the pit crew changes benefit both drivers as they fight for their spots in the playoffs? There is no clear answer, but both drivers have shown speed at a variety of tracks during the 2022 season.

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