Monday, June 24, 2024

Ty Gibbs’ team wins All-Star Pit Crew Challenge

Ty Gibbs would not be born for another six years when North Wilkesboro Speedway held its final NASCAR Cup Series race. While it was not for a traditional race, Gibbs ended up the first Cup driver to stand in the track’s Victory Lane since 1996 when he and his #54 Joe Gibbs Racing crew won the Pit Crew Challenge, which will place him on the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Open.

Gibbs’ team recorded a four-tyre stop in 13.012 seconds, beating Daniel Suárez by less than three-tenths of a second. Via his 2022 Sonoma win, Suárez is already qualified for the NASCAR All-Star Race on Sunday and being the best locked-in car means he will start on the pole for Saturday’s first heat race. As Gibbs has yet to win in the Cup Series, he needs to finish in the top two in the Open or win the Fan Vote to make the All-Star.

By finishing third in the Pit Crew Challenge, Chris Buescher starts first for Heat #2.

“We put in a whole lot of work in the other choreography,” said Gibbs’ pit crew coach Brian Haaland. “When it hit perfect, it is still the fastest way to do a pit stop, but the reality of it is when you get to pit road, there is a lot of different obstacles that take place, and everything has to be perfect for you to be able to run as fast as that stop is capable of. I think we also had to take a look in the mirror and say fundamentally, we are not as good as we need to be, so taking a step back and running this traditional pit stop to work on getting a little bit better visually and fundamentally within the pit stop, and maybe when we start to master that on a consistent basis, it is something that we take a look at again.”

Nine drivers were busted for penalties, which added five seconds to their time for each infraction. The biggest loser was perhaps Brad Keselowski, who had a loose wheel that relegated him from second to twenty-sixth.

The Pit Crew Challenge was a fan favourite event on All-Star weekend that ran from 1967 (eighteen years before the first All-Star Race) through 2012. Unlike the 2023 version, the predecessor did not impact the All-Star starting lineup.

Twenty-one drivers are already locked into the All-Star Race.

Results

Position Number Driver Team Manufacturer Time Margin
1 54 Ty Gibbs Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 13.012 Leader
2 99 Daniel Suárez Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 13.297 + 0.285
3 17 Chris Buescher RFK Racing Ford 13.381 + 0.369
4 9 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 13.572 + 0.560
5 48 Josh Berry* Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 13.677 + 0.665
6 3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 13.712 + 0.700
7 22 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 13.835 + 0.823
8 24 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 13.867 + 0.855
9 7 Corey LaJoie Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 13.911 + 0.899
10 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 14.089 + 1.077
11 21 Harrison Burton Wood Brothers Racing Ford 14.091 + 1.079
12 31 Justin Haley Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 14.294 + 1.282
13 1 Ross Chastain Trackhouse Racing Team Chevrolet 14.373 + 1.361
14 34 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 14.509 + 1.497
15 14 Chase Briscoe Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 14.674 + 1.662
16 5 Kyle Larson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 14.697 + 1.685
17 38 Todd Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 14.707 + 1.695
18 41 Ryan Preece Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 14.760 + 1.748
19 10 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 14.776 + 1.764
20 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 15.063 + 2.051
21 19 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 15.115 + 2.103
22 2 Austin Cindric Team Penske Ford 15.154 + 2.142
23 23 Bubba Wallace 23XI Racing Toyota 15.167 + 2.155
24 29 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 15.579 + 2.567
25 16 A.J. Allmendinger Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 15.796 + 2.784
26 6 Brad Keselowski RFK Racing Ford 18.044 + 5.032
27 78 Josh Bilicki* Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet 18.281 + 5.269
28 77 Ty Dillon Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 18.447 + 5.435
29 12 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 18.819 + 5.807
30 13 Chandler Smith* Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 19.004 + 5.992
31 8 Kyle Busch Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 19.531 + 6.519
32 20 Christopher Bell Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 20.064 + 7.052
33 51 Ryan Newman Rick Ware Racing Ford 20.300 + 7.288
34 42 Noah Gragson Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet 20.886 + 7.874
35 45 Tyler Reddick 23XI Racing Toyota 21.034 + 8.022
36 15 J.J. Yeley* Rick Ware Racing Ford 21.066 + 8.054
37 43 Erik Jones Legacy Motor Club Chevrolet 21.359 + 8.347
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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