Chip Ganassi Racing shuffles pit-crew lineup for Richmond due to contact-tracing protocols

Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images
Jared C. Tilton
Getty Images

Contact-tracing protocols have led Chip Ganassi Racing to make changes in its pit-crew lineup for Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Richmond Raceway, a spokesperson for the Ganassi team confirmed on Friday afternoon.

RELATED: Cup Series starting lineup | Weekend schedule: Richmond

Four over-the-wall crew for the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet driven by Ross Chastain will shift to the No. 1 CGR Chevy team and Kurt Busch for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Fueler Milan Rudanovic is the lone No. 1 crew member to remain in place.

Busch qualified as one of 16 championship-eligible drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and the 400-lap, 300-mile race at the .75-mile Virginia track is the second event in the 10-race Cup Series Playoffs.

The No. 42 crew will be led by veteran Mike Metcalf, with development crew members from the No. 00 StarCom Racing and No. 7 Spire Motorsports organizations pitching in. Ganassi fields pit crews for the Nos. 00 and 7 teams.

Entering this weekend’s race at Richmond, the No. 1 crew for Busch has the fifth-fastest average four-tire stop time this season of 13.910 seconds, per data provided by Racing Insights. That crew has also produced two of the five fastest four-tire stops this season to date (last weekend at Darlington at 12.016 seconds on Lap 299 and in Busch’s July win at Atlanta at 12.145 seconds on Lap 163), per Racing Insights.

Busch currently ranks fourth in the series’ postseason standings after Sunday’s playoff opener at Darlington Raceway. Busch finished sixth in Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 and teammate Chastain took third place as the top-finishing non-playoff driver.

Busch qualified for the postseason field by winning earlier this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, recording the 33rd victory of his Cup Series career. He’ll move to 23XI Racing next season. Chastain notched his third top-five result of the year at Darlington. He’ll move in 2022 to Trackhouse Racing, which announced it had purchased the assets of the Chip Ganassi Racing team in late June.