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4 Tires & Fuel: The Pit Crew Report - A Hendrick Show at Gateway

Hendrick Motorsports is a picture of consistency this week as all four of their pit crews made the Top 10.


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Hendrick Motorsports is a picture of consistency this week as all four of their pit crews made the Top 10 chart at Gateway. The number 48 crew was all the way down in 33rd at Charlotte for average pit stop time but came rocketing back this week topping the charts at Gateway as the only pit crew to average below the ten second mark for the whole race.

The competition at Gateway was even tighter than what we saw at Charlotte as the spread from the first ranked No. 48 Hendrick crew was less than seven tenths faster than the tenth ranked No. 99 crew from Trackhouse.

Car NumberAverage TimeTeamRank at Charlotte
Hendrick Motorsports
Joe Gibbs Racing
Hendrick Motorsports
Hendrick Motorsports
Richard Childress Racing
Penske Racing
Penske Racing
Hendrick Motorsports

While the No. 48 crew at Hendrick was most improved since Charlotte, their teammates on the No. 24 crew continue to be consistent and put on a great show alongside the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing crew and the No. 12 Penske Racing crew who also made a return to the Top 10 chart alongside the other Hendrick crews. The No. 99 Trackhouse crew also returns and this time their teammates from the No. 1 make the ranking as well alongside new appearances from the No. 22 Penske crew and a huge improvement from the No. 3 crew at Richard Childress Racing.

Fastest stops of the night paint a similar picture as the No. 54 crew of Joe Gibbs Racing topped the charts with 9.710 four-tire change while the No. 48 crew was right behind them with their fastest stop being only three hundredth of a second slower. Only a single pit stop above the ten second mark made the chart.

Car NumberDriverTimeTeam
54Ty Gibbs9.710Joe Gibbs Racing
48Alex Bowman9.743Hendrick Motorsports
24William Byron9.776Hendrick Motorsports
9Corey LaJoie9.810Hendrick Motorsports
48Alex Bowman9.877Hendrick Motorsports
54Ty Gibbs9.888Joe Gibbs Racing
6Brad Keselowski9.909RFK Racing
4Kevin Harvick9.910Stewart-Haas Racing
24William Byron9.976Hendrick Motorsports
3Austin Dillon10.010Richard Childress Racing

The number 48 pit crew of Alex Bowman made a statement with their performance during the Enjoy Illinois 300 at Gateway and get the honors of being the top crew of the weekend as they not only had a huge improvement over last week and managed to top the average pit stop time charts but also made multiple appearances on the Top 10 fastest stops of the race. The members of the number 48 Hendrick Motorsports pit crew at the Enjoy Illinois 300 were as follows:

PositionCrew Member
Front ChangerDonnie Tasser
Tire CarrierJames Riddle
Rear ChangerAndrew Bridgeforth
JackAllen Holman
FuelerJacob Conley

While Charlotte was a race where pit stall location and openings had significant impacts on how much time a driver spent on pit road, Gateway showed that it was much more about how the drivers handled themselves versus where they were pointing the car. While Charlotte showed that the number one pit stall had a huge advantage, the layout at Gateway was much different as no single pit stall had a huge gap on the field and even openings in or out of the pit box weren't as significant. The number one pit stall didn't even make the list but Brad Keselowski was able to top the chart with the best average time on pit lane all the way from pit stall 30:

DriverAvg. Time on Pit LanePit StallOpen InOpen Out
Brad Keselowski42.5530NoNo
Justin Haley42.8031NoNo
Erik Jones42.9440NoNo
AJ Allmendinger43.0311YesNo
Corey LaJoie43.2222NoNo
Ty Gibbs #43.477NoNo
Ty Dillon43.5028NoNo
Todd Gilliland43.5617NoNo
Ross Chastain43.6241YesNo
Aric Almirola43.6326NoNo

Gateway also reminded us that pit road can be a dangerous place as Thomas Hatcher, who is the front tire changer of the No. 43 of LEGACY Motor Club was involved in an incident that saw him transported to a local hospital during the race. While crews are highly competitive at their chosen tasks they are also always willing to lend a hand and Houston Stamper from 23XI Racing hopped in to assist that No. 43 crew to finish the race while Hatcher was being examined. Hatcher flew back to North Carolina early this morning and we hope to hear more details on his recovery this week.

Hatcher is a veteran Joe Gibbs Racing athlete who is currently on loan to LEGACY Motor Club along with the rest of that No. 43 crew. Hatcher has been part of multiple wins and even set some of the earliest pit stop records as the NASCAR Next Gen car debuted.

Methodology: Pit stops are pulled from NASCAR data and filtered to only show pit stops that included four tire changes that lasted between 8 seconds and 25 seconds in order to exclude pit stops that involve extenuating circumstances.

-Photo provided by Hendrick Motorsports