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USA Today via Reuters

USA Today via Reuters

Right now Richard Childress Racing is in a tough spot. They are dealing with a bubble under the carpet and when they step on one bubble, another pops up somewhere else. The bubble here is the problem that never seems to end. No matter what they tried, their drivers Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon face new challenges, every week. Kyle Busch is yet to make it to the playoffs and Dillon is 32nd on the point standings!

As such, the team tries to make radical changes. While it is commendable that they are on their front foot trying to make a difference with such changes–it’s doing them no favors and they are falling into a loop. And there’s news that fresh changes are also coming.

Kyle Busch and RCR stuck in a loop of misery!

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Kyle Busch week in and week out suffers the same fate—him crashing, someone crashing with him, he against the wall, DNF, and mechanical failures with the car. This season has not been going right for him. And there seem to be multiple plausible reasons for it. Most think the car’s lack of speed or Kyle Busch has caught up with his age. However, there appears to be a deeper issue within the team, spanning from the bottom to the top. And the fact that they are making these changes is a testament.

It all started when the team had to make pit crew changes. Remember when Kyle Busch faced an immense struggle with his crew? How does a team come unprepared and out of the blue to the start of the season? And these off-season changes are something they continued to make throughout. In fact, Brad Gillie in the PRN was candid about how the team doesn’t have just a fast car, and as far as the problems go, they had it from the get-go.

He said at PRN Fast Talk, “I don’t think they’re bringing fast cars to the racetrack. It’s almost like the season started, and they were like, ‘Oh, it’s here now.’ Because Kyle Busch went five, six, seven weeks without having a consistent pit crew, they had all the problems there. Then all of a sudden, for Austin Dillon, they’re running the way they had run the year before.”

While luckily the DNFs were avoided in the Chicago Street Race for Kyle Busch, the situation is still dire for him, and he is not yet in the playoffs. He is a two-time champion, and the spotlight has quickly gone from how many races he has won to how sorry most feel for him. Whether it’s crew chiefs, spotters, drivers, or fans–everyone feels sorry for Kyle Busch!

This has led to the team making more changes. Just recently, Andy Petree ended up leaving the organization and retiring. And that to Gillie was a bad call! While it is not confirmed whether he left of his own accord or the team replaced him, either way, it’s bad news for the team.

Gillie said, “Andy Petree is a guy who comes in and makes your organization better, and then he leaves. Keith Rodden, the guy you took off of Austin Dillon’s pit box, is now the one who’s in charge of your competition. They were making all of these offseason moves when the season started, and I guess I applaud them for not sitting on their hands and just doing the same thing, but it just doesn’t feel like they have everything syncing the way it should.”

via Imago

And you’d think maybe this is about it with the changes. But Austin Dillon, who usually keeps team matters private, surprisingly spoke out. According to him, big changes are on the way—essentially a “big hire.” But it remains to be seen who they think will come in, and swish the wand of transformation and make everything go back to how it once was. And if there’s one big name they should have had on their list for a major hire, they just missed one—Rodney Childers!

A missed opportunity for RCR!

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If changes are what they were making to ahead the team, they just missed a golden opportunity. Because with Stewart Haas disbanding, they had the golden opportunity to lock in one of NASCAR’s best crew chiefs, if not the best—-Rodney Childers.

Rodney Childers is currently the crew chief of Josh Berry for SHR. He won the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship with Kevin Harvick. And with Stewart Haas Racing disbanding next season, he was free to join. And it’s not as if the RCR couldn’t take on Childers to the team. But alas, Spire won the lottery and signed Childers to join them. Spire announced that Childers will be working with Corey Lajoie. And this is a huge lottery for the team because he is possibly the best crew chief in NASCAR. Childers has proven to be reliable on top of the pit box, no matter who is driving for him. Plus, he has experience working with rookies by doing great with Josh Berry. 

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This news came as a tremendous surprise because Spire was not in the picture as most thought Childers would join the Haas Factory Team in 2025 or possibly the Wood Brothers with Josh Berry. And both Berry and Childers have been vocal about being on the same team and working as a double blaster. but clearly, that didn’t work out. But it is perfect for Spire, as he could make the changes the team’s looking for moving forward. 

Hence, if RCR wanted change, this is a lost opportunity! What do you think?