Pit Crew Challenge results from North Wilkesboro: Ty Gibbs in P1 for NASCAR All-Star Open

·4 min read

When the final car came and went, and the 54 pit crew realized that they had the fastest pit stop, the team celebrated like they’d just won the whole thing.

There were big smiles.

Group hugs.

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A reflective post-event interview from Derrell Edwards, the 54 team’s jackman: “This team has been through so much, man.”

As a result of the 54 team’s production on Friday evening — a 13.021 four-tire pit stop that was 0.29 seconds better than the second best team — Ty Gibbs will sit on the pole for the All-Star Open. That gives him a leg-up in the Open; the top three drivers in the Open get to make it into Sunday’s All-Star Race. (The win also delivers the team a $100,000 bonus.)

Daniel Suarez finished second in the Pit Crew Challenge. That means he will start in P1 for one of the two All-Star Race heats that will take place on Saturday. (The heats will ultimately set the All-Star Race’s starting lineup.)

Chris Buescher finished third.

“It was pretty cool, ya know?” Gibbs told reporters after his team’s triumph. “It would’ve been a little nicer if that locked us into Sunday’s night race. But we’ll race (in the Open), and I feel like we got a great car, so we just gotta get through this next one to go have a shot for a million bucks.”

All implications of what this means for Sunday aside, there was no denying that Friday’s event was quite cool: It thrust the overlooked but invaluable guys — the offensive line of a race team, so to speak — into the spotlight. Fans flooded the front stretch, many of them standing right up next to the fence to get the best view.

Pit lane is where races can’t be won, but can be lost. And pit stops are the most thrilling moments of any 400-mile race: Their highs and lows are measured in tenths of seconds. They’re the sprints sprinkled into the marathons.

There’s no denying that they matter, in other words.

And winning the event mattered to the 54 team, too.

“These guys put in so much work that people don’t see,” said Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew coach Brian Haaland. “And most of the time when things go wrong, it gets highlighted. So it’s nice that they were able to perform in a really intense environment out there against all of their peers and run the fastest pit stop. Ty doing a fantastic job getting the car exactly where we needed, and then (crew chief) Chris (Gayle), with his mechanics, maybe giving us a little help on the set-up, and it was a lot of extra work for those guys. So it was a complete team effort today.”

Full results from the Pit Crew Challenge are below.

Results from Pit Crew Challenge

Pos.

Car

Driver

Time behind

Stop time

1

54

Ty Gibbs #

--

13.012

2

99

Daniel Suarez

0.285

13.297

3

17

Chris Buescher

0.369

13.381

4

9

Chase Elliott

0.56

13.572

5

48

Josh Berry(i)

0.665

13.677

6

3

Austin Dillon

0.7

13.712

7

22

Joey Logano

0.823

13.835

8

24

William Byron

0.855

13.867

9

7

Corey LaJoie

0.899

13.911

10

11

Denny Hamlin

1.077

14.089

11

21

Harrison Burton

1.079

14.091

12

31

Justin Haley

1.282

14.294

13

1

Ross Chastain

1.361

14.373

14

34

Michael McDowell

1.497

14.509

15

14

Chase Briscoe

1.662

14.674

16

5

Kyle Larson

1.685

14.697

17

38

Todd Gilliland

1.695

14.707

18

41

Ryan Preece

1.748

14.76

19

10

Aric Almirola

1.764

14.776

20

47

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2.051

15.063

21

20

Christopher Bell

2.052

15.064

22

19

Martin Truex Jr.

2.103

15.115

23

2

Austin Cindric

2.142

15.154

24

23

Bubba Wallace

2.155

15.167

25

29

Kevin Harvick

2.567

15.579

26

16

AJ Allmendinger

2.784

15.796

27

6

Brad Keselowski

5.032

13.044

28

78

Josh Bilicki(i)

5.269

18.281

29

77

Ty Dillon

5.435

18.447

30

12

Ryan Blaney

5.807

13.819

31

13

* Chandler Smith(i)

5.992

14.004

32

8

Kyle Busch

6.519

14.531

33

51

Ryan Newman

7.288

15.3

34

42

Noah Gragson #

7.874

15.886

35

45

Tyler Reddick

8.022

16.034

36

15

JJ Yeley(i)

8.054

16.066

37

43

Erik Jones

8.347

16.359