Kyle Busch and Martin Truex, Jr. were the class of the field through the first half of last Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis, but after the two crashed while battling for the lead on a restart at lap 112, tensions flared between the Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing pit crews.
In a video first seen on Fox Sports 1’s NASCAR Race Hub, Busch’s crew chief Adam Stevens was walking back to the garage when a member of Truex’s pit crew sarcastically clapped at Stevens and said “Tell Kyle way to go.” The comments caused Stevens to stop in his tracks and walk into the No. 78 pit box, where he confronted the crew member that clapped and made the comments.
The confrontation alerted another pit crew member from Truex’s team, who came over and began to escort Stevens out of the pit box by saying “I don’t care who you are, get out of my box.” Stevens would in turn reply by calling him a “cowboy” and a “tough guy” before the two were separated and went about their business.
A video of the incident can be seen below:
Days after the incident and the video came to light, Joe Gibbs Racing, which employs the members of Truex’s pit crew in their alliance with Furniture Row Racing, announced that the two pit crew members from Furniture Row that were involved in the altercation with Stevens would be slapped with a three race suspension, keeping them on the sidelines for this weekend’s race at Pocono, followed by the races at Watkins Glen and Michigan.
“Our No. 78 pit crew is hired, trained and managed by Joe Gibbs Racing,” Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser said. “They are one of the best pit crews on the circuit and have kept us up front all season. We admire the talent and dedication of our pit crew and support all of the decisions and actions taken by Joe Gibbs Racing.”
Through the first 20 races of the season, Furniture Row Racing has visited victory lane three times with Truex, who leads the points standings, while JGR only scored their first win of the year two weeks ago.