Championship driver Busch takes top pit stall from Hamlin
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Kyle Busch will have the coveted No. 1 pit stall as he races for the NASCAR Cup championship Sunday after Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin and pole winner passed on the spot.
Hamlin and crew chief Mike Wheeler had the first choice of pit stalls because Hamlin posted the fastest practice qualifying lap. The JGR team surrendered the spot to Busch on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Team owner Joe Gibbs said it was an organizational decision.
“We’d like to win a championship for Joe Gibbs Racing,” Gibbs said. “That’s part of the complication, the intriguing part of this.”
Busch is one of four drivers racing Sunday for the championship and Hamlin is not one of them.
Reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr. was in a similar position last year and asked Hamlin, a fellow Toyota driver, to give him the first pit stall but Hamlin declined. Busch said Friday he didn’t think his luck would be any better.
“That’s probably too far, but it would sure be nice,” Busch said.
Busch, the 2015 Cup champion, got what he wanted. He’ll race against Truex, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick for the title.
Hamlin’s team took the No. 4 pit stall.
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