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Joe Gibbs Racing announces crew chief assignments for 2021

Steve Letarte, Jeff Burton, and Dale Jarrett review the top storylines from the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season and look ahead to what the 2021 season has in store from a schedule, driver, and team perspective.

Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell will have new crew chiefs next season in the NASCAR Cup Series as Joe Gibbs Racing reshuffled its lineup.

Busch and Adam Stevens’ six-year partnership has ended after the duo earned Cup championships together in 2015 and ’19 but endured an arduous 2020 with the No. 18 team.

Busch often lacked his usual performance and was eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. He averted a possible winless season by taking the checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway in October.

Busch’s new crew chief is Ben Beshore, who previously worked on the No. 18 team as an engineer before joining JGR’s Xfinity Series program in 2019 as a crew chief. Stevens becomes JGR’s No. 20 crew chief with Bell, who arrives from now-defuct Leavine Family Racing to replace Erik Jones.

Beshore guided Harrison Burton to four Xfinity wins this past season. Additionally, he and Busch worked together in 2019 for seven Xfinity races, winning four of them.

Chris Gabehart and James Small remain as crew chiefs for Denny Hamlin (No. 11) and Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19), respectively.

Joe Gibbs Racing also will have new crew chiefs in its Xfinity program.

Jason Ratcliff, who worked with Bell in the Cup Series this past season at Leavine Family Racing, replaces Beshore as crew chief for Burton and the No. 20 team.

Dave Rogers stays with the No. 18 team, now with the newly hired Daniel Hemric behind the wheel.

Jeff Meendering remains as crew chief for the No. 19 team and Brandon Jones for a third consecutive year.

JGR will field a fourth entry with Chris Gayle as No. 54 crew chief and a rotating group of drivers. Gayle led Jones and the No. 20 Cup team for the past three seasons.

A driver lineup and race schedule for the No. 54 will be announced at a later date.

“We go through a process at the conclusion of every season that includes evaluating each of our teams,” team owner Joe Gibbs said in a statement. “We believe our crew chief lineup for 2021 will best position each team and driver for success across both series.

“We take a lot of pride in our depth of talent across our entire organization. All of our crew chiefs are proven winners. We are also looking forward to bringing the No. 54 Toyota Supra back to the track in 2021 with an exciting team of drivers.”