Kyle Busch/Ben Beshore era comes to an early end as Beshore suspended 4 races

In addition to Bubba Wallace’s suspension, NASCAR also announced on Thursday four other penalties following the Las Vegas weekend.

One of them was Ben Beshore, crew chief of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, missing the next four races along with jackman Derrell Edwards and tire changer Michael Hicks after the left-front wheel detached from Busch’s car under caution at Las Vegas. The suspensions carry through the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum.

After Busch pitted on Lap 229 for fresh tires, the left front wheel was loose, and it came off on the backstretch. Busch rebounded to finish 3rd.

That creates an end of an era for Busch and Beshore. Busch moves onto RCR at seasons end and will be paired with Randall Burnett. With Beshore missing the rest of the season (3 races left) it ends their relationship.

Busch previously was paired with Adam Stevens.

Stevens helped guide Kyle Busch to a pair of Cup championships and 29 of his 60 (48%) career wins in just a 6-season span. 

Busch amassed 5 wins in just 25 starts in 2015, 4 wins in 2016, 5 more in 2017, 8 in 2018 and 5 in 2019. He made the Championship 4 in all 5 years. 

2020 was a bit of an adjustment though. COVID struck and out went practice and qualifying. It greatly affected the way that he and Busch worked together. Just 1 win, 14 top 5 finishes and 512 laps led ensued. Busch was eliminated in the Round of 12 of the playoffs. 

Busch had led at least 1400 laps in each of the previous 4 seasons and now it felt like they were sliding backwards. With a plethora of crew chief and driver swaps occurring in the sport, Joe Gibbs Racing felt like it was best to split this tandem up. Give Busch a new voice and see if Stevens’ voice could help another driver. 

Busch was paired with Beshore. Christopher Bell was paired with Stevens. Basically, the entire teams swapped. Bell was technically the 18 car while Busch was the 20. The only thing that stayed the same was the sponsors and car numbers tied to those drivers.

Over the last 2 seasons now, Busch has 3 wins, 22 top 5 finishes, 38 top 10’s and 1,084 laps led. He was eliminated from the playoffs in the 3rd round last year and 1st round this year.

In the Xfinity Series, the No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing team was levied an L1-level penalty for violating Section 14.4.B.E, which pertains to the body. The penalty report notes “Flange Fit Composite Body must be used as supplied from the manufacturer without modification.” Crew chief Mark Setzer was fined $25,000 and suspended from this weekend’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway while the team was docked 40 driver and owner points.

Chris Gayle, crew chief of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Xfinity Series, was also issued a $5,000 fine after the car was found with one loose lug nut following Saturday’s event.

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