Josh Shipplett, tire carrier for Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 11 Toyota and driver Denny Hamlin, will suit up for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway after a pit-road incident in Saturday’s Xfinity Series event.
Hamlin leads the Cup Series standings and is set to start Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM) from the Busch Pole. A representative for the team confirmed that Shipplett was cleared to join the No. 11 team’s over-the-wall group for Sunday’s event.
Shipplett, 31, was working for JGR’s No. 18 team in the Xfinity Series when driver Daniel Hemric overshot his pit stall during the first caution period, forcing crew members to take evasive action. The car appeared to clip one of the two right-side tires that Shipplett was carrying, sending him tumbling to the pavement.
FOX Sports’ Jamie Little reported that Shipplett had gone to the infield care center, complaining of soreness in his ribs. Little reported that he was replaced Saturday by a member of the No. 20 JGR team of Harrison Burton, who retired with an engine failure after completing just 70 of the 179 laps.
Hemric rallied to a third-place finish in Saturday’s Contender Boats 250, but struck an apologetic tone — both during the race in his radio communications with the team, and in post-race interviews. His JGR crew seemed to absolve him during the event, saying that a pre-race adjustment may have been at least partially to blame.
“First off, I’m so sorry,” Hemric said post-race. “Those are Denny’s guys for (Sunday) and I could hear Chris Gabehart, their crew chief for tomorrow, saying take care of his guys. I did not do that today. It was my first time coming down pit road in these cars and I fully underestimated how much front brake I had. Completely on me. I’ve got to be better than that.”
Shipplett has also been listed on team rosters as a tire carrier for Halmar Friesen Racing in the Camping World Truck Series this season.