Joe Gibbs Racing Announces Major Changes as Kyle Busch Will Have a New Crew Chief for 2021 Season

November 18, 2020 5:00 pm

The suspense around the future of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team’s personnel came to a halt on Tuesday. Adam Stevens is set to move away from the team and will no longer be the Crew Chief to Kyle Busch.

Ben Beshore replaces him and will renew his partnership with Busch. Beshore earned a promotion from the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he had a successful year with Harrison Burton.

Meanwhile, Stevens stays in the Cup Series. He will soon shoulder the responsibility of guiding youngster Christopher Bell in the No. 20 team. Bell replaces the departing Erik Jones.

Beshore and Busch have had a successful partnership in the past. It started with Beshore working as an engineer for the No. 18 Cup Series team.

He was then made the Crew Chief in Joe Gibbs Racing’s Xfinity Series program and worked with Burton, whom he led to 4 wins this year.

Additionally, Beshore and Busch have also won races together. Busch runs part-time in the Xfinity Series as well. Back in 2019, he ran 7 races for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Series, and Beshore was his Crew Chief. The pair won 4 of the 7 races.

Sep 19, 2020; Bristol, Tennessee, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) pits during the Nascar Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

A look back at the partnership between Kyle Busch and Adam Stevens

It will be a tough transition for Busch as well as Stevens, who worked together for 6 years. They had a highly fruitful partnership, winning 2 championships in their time together. This included the 2015 championship, which Busch won despite missing quite a few races after suffering injuries at Daytona.

However, the duo had a very tough outing in 2020. Busch struggled to win a race as the defending champion all season. He eventually managed to bag a win in the playoff race at the Texas Motor Speedway, but they were already out of the Playoffs.

Moreover, despite the championship win just last year, Busch and Stevens have won just 2 out of their last 58 races together. Stevens will provide significant experience to a developing Christopher Bell in the No. 20 car.

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) and driver Kyle Busch (18) lead the field for the start of the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Other changes to Joe Gibbs Racing

Meanwhile, there are no changes to the teams for Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr.

Jason Ratcliff, who was Bell’s Crew Chief at Leavine Family Racing, will now slot in as Beshore’s replacement with Burton. The JGR Xfinity team has a 4th entry this year, with the No. 54 car which will have different drivers. Crew Chief Chris Gayle will oversee the team.

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