JR Motorsports found itself in a pickle ahead of Saturday’s XFINITY Series Round of 8 cutoff race.
You see, their pit crews were stuck in Arkansas with a flight issue as of Saturday morning … and the race was at Phoenix Raceway, in Arizona.
This could’ve proved to be particularly challenging, considering three of their four drivers were still in the running for a championship in Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and William Byron.
JRM co-owner, vice president and business manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller confirmed roughly an hour and a half before the race that substitute crews were on hand to take the place of the starters, and had faith that they’d rise to the occasion.
Praying for my @JRMotorsports teammates and drivers in PHX. And our “new” pit crews. We can overcome. Let’s do this!
— Kelley Earnhardt (@EarnhardtKelley) November 11, 2017
As for the drivers, Allgaier was confident the team would be just fine and advance into the Championship 4 despite this hurdle.
“No concern,” JRM driver Justin Allgaier told NBC Sports. “At the end of the day, we have the best pit crew on pit road normally, so that’s a little disappointing that those guys aren’t here because I really feel confident with those guys. But one thing that I know is everybody at Hendrick Motorsports, that we use their pit crews, and everybody here at JR Motorsports, they rally behind adversity and I know that the guys they’re going to assemble are going to be just as good. I’m looking forward to that challenge, to be honest with you.”
The veteran driver was right, as all three drivers made the cut, and will race next weekend for the XFINITY Series title. Byron even won the race, for good measure, with Allgaier pulling in 10th and Sadler 18th.
When news broke, team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. also took to Twitter to call for any and all help.
Holy crap. All hands on deck! https://t.co/flECFtINpZ
— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) November 11, 2017
… and received an offer to pitch in from an unexpected source.
I’ll change tires for u if u need me.
— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@StenhouseJr) November 11, 2017
Stenhouse does have experience working with race cars — Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush used to make the driver work on cars he crashed to teach him a lesson back in the day — so if you see a familiar face on pit road Saturday afternoon, you know why.
He may need approval from the “Cat in the Hat,” himself, but at the very least, Roush Fenway Racing’s Twitter account approves of the move.
Please make this happen https://t.co/gXQqywWi4I
— Your Favorite NASCAR Team, Roush Fenway Racing (@roushfenway) November 11, 2017