The Cup Series driver-owner made the announcement on July 23, the same day that he won the Busch Light Pole at Pocono Raceway. Per FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass, Hamlin explained that this move will give the team control over the personnel moves and the training. The team is currently in the process of recruiting potential pit crew members.
The two-car operation has an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing that includes the pit crews. JGR provides the individuals that change tires and fill the No. 23 and No. 45 entries with fuel each week. This alliance means that 23XI Racing doesn’t get the best crew members in the organization.
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A Recent Crew Change Benefited 2 Drivers
The early portion of the 2022 Cup Series season featured some issues on pit road for two teams. The No. 20 of Christopher Bell and the No. 23 of Bubba Wallace both dealt with penalties and other issues that disrupted several races.
JGR made a big change after the trip to Road America. The organization moved Houston Stamper (front tire changer) and Joe Crossen (tire carrier) from Bell’s team to Wallace’s. In return, Jackson Gibbs (front tire changer) and Nick McBeath (tire carrier) made the move to the No. 20 team. The changes also included AJ Rosini joining Bell’s team as the new rear tire changer after he spent time in the IndyCar Series with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Bell’s No. 20 lost a wheel in the Atlanta Motor Speedway race on July 10 after receiving new members. Though this was unrelated to the changes. One week later, he won his first race of the season at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as his crew turned race-winning stops throughout the day.
Wallace, for comparison, finished 14th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He then went out and finished third at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after both he and his pit crew turned in their best performances of the year.
The Offseason Change Will Benefit Another Future Move
The decision to develop pit crews in-house will likely benefit 23XI Racing in the immediate future. It will also help the team better prepare for another major change.
The Cup Series team will bring Tyler Reddick into the fold starting with the 2024 season. The driver of the No. 8 will make the leap from Richard Childress Racing, and he will either take over one of the two entries or he will climb into a third entry. Hamlin has not yet revealed whether 23XI Racing will expand for the second time.
Regardless of which direction the organization goes, Reddick will join at a good time. The pit crews will have one full season of experience, and they will only get better with more time. This will help him and his teammate(s) better contend during the 2024 season.