Kyle Busch’s Tenure With JGR Will End With Penalties for the No. 18 Team

Kyle Busch

Getty Kyle Busch will lose his crew chief for the rest of 2022.

Kyle Busch’s final season with Joe Gibbs Racing has encountered another setback. A tire issue at Las Vegas Motor Speedway means that he will finish out the remaining Cup Series races without crew chief Ben Beshore.

UPDATE: NASCAR confirmed this with the release of the weekly penalty report on October 18. The sanctioning body confirmed that Beshore has received a four-race suspension that runs through the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum. There are also four-race suspensions for jackman Derrell Edwards and rear changer Michael Hicks.

The incident occurred after a tire issue sent Ryan Blaney hard into the wall and brought out the caution. The top drivers headed down pit road for fresh tires and fuel, a group that included Busch. However, the crew did not fully tighten the left front, which became evident as smoke began billowing out from underneath the No. 18 Toyota Camry as it left pit road.

The tire eventually detached from Busch’s car on the backstretch and came to a stop against the inside wall. He was able to make it back to his pit stall for another set of tires, but he fell back to the 18th position for the restart with 23 laps to go.

NASCAR changed the Rule Book for lost wheels so that it would not automatically result in a four-race suspension for the crew chief and two members of the over-the-wall crew. However, having Busch lose the wheel on the track itself most likely leads to a significant penalty.

Busch Still Managed a Strong Finish

Kyle Busch

GettyKyle Busch salvaged a strong finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Busch had a wild day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He spun early in Stage 1 and had to go to his pit stall for fresh tires. He then lost a wheel after a stop in which he said he “left a little early.”

Despite these significant setbacks, KFB still showcased speed in the No. 18 Toyota Camry. He worked his way back into the top 10 during the final run to the checkered flag, and he cracked the top five with mere laps remaining.

Busch used his combination of tires and speed to work his way past Chase Briscoe and then he set out after Ross Chastain. Busch nearly passed the No. 1 Chevrolet, but he hit the wall hard while battling the Trackhouse Racing driver for position. He ultimately crossed the finish line third overall for his 14th top-10 finish in 23 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We certainly clawed our way back from a lot,” Busch told PRN after exiting the No. 18. “We had a fast Camry. That helped a lot of things. Good solid day. We wanted to win.”

Busch Only Has 3 Races Remaining With JGR

Kyle Busch

GettyKyle Busch has 3 races remaining with JGR.

Busch’s time with Joe Gibbs Racing is quickly coming to a close. He only has three races remaining before he moves over to Richard Childress Racing and takes over the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro.

These three races will likely be without Beshore atop the pit box, but they will take place at tracks where the veteran has secured wins. Next up is Homestead-Miami Speedway where Busch won in 2015 and 2019 to clinch his two championships.

Following the trip to Florida, Busch will take on Martinsville Speedway, the short track where he has two previous wins. The two-time champion’s JGR tenure will then come to a close at Phoenix Raceway. He has three wins at the track — one with Hendrick Motorsports and two with JGR. Busch also has two consecutive seventh-place finishes in his past two starts at Phoenix.

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