Gibbs crew earns All-Star Open pole with Pit Crew Challenge win
Ty Gibbs will start from the pole in the All-Star Open at North Wilkesboro Speedway after his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 team clicked off the fastest pit stop Friday night in the Pit Crew Challenge.
A 13.012s stop got the job done.
Chris Gayle leads the No. 54 team. Nate Bellows is the car chief, Peyton Moore the fueler, Derrell Edwards the jackman, Blake Houston on the front tire, Michael Hicks on the rear tire, and Jacob Holmes is the tire carrier.
In addition to the pole, the pit crew won the $100,000 bonus. The Pit Crew Challenge set the starting lineups for the All-Star Open as well as the two heat races for the All-Star Race.
“It means a lot,” Edwards said. “I had a lot of emotion after the stop because this No. 54 team, we’ve been through a lot. I’ve been through two suspensions. My group — we keep putting in the work. We know what type of group we are; we know what type of pit crew we are, and today we were able to showcase it.
“We’re all we got; we always depend on each other and have each other’s back no matter what — good, bad, or indifferent — and it paid off today.”
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In the Pit Crew Challenge, drivers drove into the pit stall from a standing start on pit road. After the four-tire pit stop, they exited the pit box to the timing line. There was no fuel going into the car, but the fueler was still involved in the pit stop by engaging the fuel can and kicking the left rear tire back toward the pit wall.
Daniel Suarez’s No. 99 team from Trackhouse Racing had the second-fastest time in the competition at 13.297s, putting him on the pole for the first All-Star heat.
Chris Buescher will start from the pole in the second heat race after his No. 17 RFK Racing team reeled off a 13.381s stop.
There were nine penalties during the Pit Crew Challenge out of 37 teams. A penalty was called for any infraction a team would be called for during a Sunday race.
J.J. Yeley and Kyle Busch’s teams were called for being over the wall too soon and issued 5s penalties.
The teams of Chandler Smith, Ryan Newman, Tyler Reddick, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, and Christopher Bell were issued 5s penalties for having loose wheels.