Following a polar opposite season from the year before, Joe Gibbs Racing shuffled its crew chief line up for 2021.
Between the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series only Denny Hamlin’s team advanced to the Championship 4 Round.
While both Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.’s teams will remain in tact, the Nos. 18 and 20 Cup as well as the Nos. 20 and 54 Xfinity squads will have new leaders at the helm next year—the most notable being the assignment of Ben Beshore to the No. 18 team and Kyle Busch.
“We go through a process at the conclusion of every season that includes evaluating each of our teams,” said Joe Gibbs, Owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “We believe our crew chief lineup for 2021 will best position each team and driver for success across both series.”
Despite winning the 2019 NASCAR Cup title, clearly, irrevocable damage occurred between the championship partnership of Busch and Adam Stevens. The moments following the No. 18 team’s sole win at Texas Motor Speedway seemed anything by celebratory. Busch finished eighth in the Cup standings.
Stevens will now oversee Christopher Bell’s progress as he moves under the JGR banner. Bell struggled in his rookie season at Leavine Family Racing. He scored just two top fives and seven top 10s in 36 starts. Stevens, a two-time Cup champion, should expedite Bell’s learning curve in Cup.
Beshore filled in as crew chief on the No. 18 team with Busch for three races in 2017. Together, they posted one top five, three top 10s and a pole. Before he was promoted to crew chief of the No. 19 team last year, Beshore was Busch’s team engineer. He won four races with Harrison Burton and the No. 20 NXS team this season but failed to advance to the final four.
Jason Ratcliff, who most recently led Bell through NXS and Cup, will now oversee Burton’s effort. Dave Rogers will continue to guide the No. 18 team and Daniel Hemric, who replaced Riley Herbst.
“We take a lot of pride in our depth of talent across our entire organization,” Gibbs added. “All of our crew chiefs are proven winners. We are also looking forward to bringing the No. 54 Toyota Supra back to the track in 2021 with an exciting team of drivers.”