The Busch brothers enjoyed a historic afternoon at Kansas Speedway. Kurt Busch set a new 23XI Racing record for laps led while Kyle Busch‘s pit crew turned in the fastest four-tire pit stop in NASCAR history.
Joe Gibbs Racing announced the news on May 16. The championship-winning organization said that Busch’s crew turned in an 8.96-second pit stop on Lap 124, just prior to Kevin Harvick spinning and bringing out the caution flag. JGR also provided footage from two of the crew members to showcase the speed and efficiency.
Busch’s pit crew turned in several strong stops during the AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway. They made NASCAR history on Lap 124, and they gave the No. 18 the lead late in Stage 3. Kurt led the field down pit road on Lap 231, but he left in the third position. The No. 18 team gave the younger Busch the lead off pit road while Kyle Larson’s crew gave the No. 5 the second spot.
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JGR Has Incorporated New Pit Stops During 2022
The introduction of the Next Gen car has shaken up pit stops. Primarily, the wheels and tires are larger while there is only one lugnut instead of five. The expectation entering the season is that the pit stops would take less time, but JGR took this to an entirely different level with new choreography.
The old style of pit stops had the rear tire changer running around the back of the stock car and partially blocking the gas man. Now, however, they run around the front of the car and move to their natural position while the gasman can go about their business without any obstacles.
Once the right side change is complete, the crew runs around to the left side. There is another change in that the front tire changer moves to the rear tire while the rear tire changer takes over the old spot at the front. This helps shave off even more time during critical points of the race.
A Fast Stop Determined the 2021 Championship
There is a belief in the NASCAR garage that pit stops win races. Hendrick Motorsports has proven this to be true several times in the past, including during the championship race that determined the 2021 season.
The majority of the final stage of the championship race featured Martin Truex Jr. leading the way while battling with Denny Hamlin. The expectation was that one of them would win the title, but a late caution changed the outcome of the race.
The championship-eligible drivers headed down pit road during the race’s final caution for fresh tires and fuel. Kyle Larson, who won the first stall by capturing the Busch Light Pole, entered fourth but let first overall after his crew turned in the second-fastest pit stop of the entire season at 11.8 seconds. Hamlin had the second-fastest stop at 12.1, Chase Elliott was third at 13.0, and Truex was fourth at 13.1.
“It starts with the pit stop,” Larson said to NBC Sports during the post-race show. “Without that pit stop, we are not champions. My pit crew has been doing an amazing job all year, and I didn’t know that that was the second-best stop they’ve had all season.”