Joe Gibbs defends Furniture Row pit crew suspensions

Joe Gibbs gave a simple defense of his decision to suspend two Furniture Row Racing pit crew members who work for his race team.

Why the suspensions?

“Because of their action and what they did,” he told a small group of reporters Sunday morning at Pocono Raceway.

Martin Truex Jr.’s pit crew is employed by Joe Gibbs Racing, so Gibbs had the authority to suspend them after two crewmen confronted Kyle Busch crew chief Adam Stevens after the two drivers wrecked at Indianapolis.

Gibbs said the video, filmed by FOX Sports, “didn’t capture everything that happened there,” though he wouldn’t elaborate on why.

“We always sit and we consider our employees very important to us and the way they act,” he said. “So anyway, we felt like we worked through it the right way.”

Gibbs also said he did not consider disciplining Stevens for his role in the altercation.


“Because everything that happened,” he said. “I think we took everything into consideration and did what we thought was best.”

Was Gibbs concerned about the criticism directed toward JGR and the appearance he was hurting the team’s top competitor?

“People are always going to say all kinds of things,” he said. “I don’t think we’re worried about that. And obviously, (the crewmen will) be back. That’s one of the best pit crews on pit road.”

More: My analysis of JGR’s decision on the suspensions


23 Replies to “Joe Gibbs defends Furniture Row pit crew suspensions”

  1. Should have only been a 1 week paycheck fine at most and then let them work this week. Stevens had the option to keep on walking or walk away. He did not so he should have been held accountable also.

  2. He went into their pit box. End of story. 78 team has the right to remove him or ask him to leave. Regardless of if he is a crew chief or not, he’s not the 78 crew chief.

    Bad look all around on Gibbs.

    Hopefully the 78 will leave and come back to chevy sometime soon.


  3. 78 hire their own crew guys next year.
    No discipline for 18 at all?
    Really Joe Gibbs?

  4. No defense at all from the Coach. Stevens should have been suspended too. Bad form, Joe. Not much respect remaining for you.

  5. So by this, when Kyle gets sarcastic, he will be suspended?

    Sorry Joe, don’t buy this. Stevens was out of line by escalating. He should have been the adult and he wasn’t.

    Even if Joe’s motives were pure, the appearance smells.

  6. Sad JGR , you took talent away from your competition . Monetary fine would have been more proper , Stevens included . He got into someone’s face . Shame on you

  7. What upsets me is there is no consistency. A low paid crew member is put on suspension without pay for doing the same thing a driver does with no accountability. You have to suspend everyone or ignor everyone. I can’t fault just NASCAR, it is napping in all sports.
    The more money you bring in the less your actions count.

  8. I really thought Coach Gibbs had more integrity than this. I am so disappointed in him personally. I will never look at him the same again.

  9. This looks really bad for JGR. Stevens could have easily just nodded and kept walking in response to the clapping but decided to respond like an aggressive bully. He kept acting like a jackass even after the guy had turned away, which is when the 2nd guy stepped in to protect the 1st guy and to make Stevens leave the 78 box, as Stevens had NO right to be there! Stevens was still aggressive (but you’ll notice he eased up a little because hey, bullies know who they can bully and who can wipe the floor with their face) with the 2nd tire changer and refused to leave until he was dragged away. So, yeah, it’s ridiculous how they punished the tire changers for their behavior but yet protected Stevens for his, when his was so much WORSE. (I can’t help but think Stevens is behind the suspensions.)
    I was just starting to become a fan of Busch but after hearing they were willing to play nice on restarts with the 78 team until the 78 team would have benefited from their alliance (I mean there was a lot of racing left) and then hearing they punished the 78 team by suspending their tire changers while protecting Stevens makes it look like they are ALL a bunch of poor sports, who think they can’t win unless they tamper with the other teams.
    So, what it boils down too is Stevens behavior and JGR’s decision to punish the tire changers just cost Busch at least one race fan.

  10. With all the Negativity that they get from Kyle B Throwing tantrums. It may have been in their best interest to release the footage supporting their decision. JMO

  11. This is dirty. This is just so dirty. Really leaves a bad taste, especially after who ended up winning today and who his competition was the whole day. NO ONE should be able to hamper another competitor in the way JGR did today. It’s wrong and should never have been an option. Nascar should take a hard look at this. Even people who aren’t fans of Truex think this thing smells bad.

  12. From the footage that is/was public, the 78 team was not engaged in anything suspension worthy. Were tempers high? Absolutely. But I think when another team crossed the line and went into the pit area, that’s the issue. It is similar to going into someone’s house to argue. Moreover, when the driver (Busch) has a recent history of a physical altercation in the pits, I wonder what kind of atmosphere that entire #18 team operates in. Between their driver behaving like a child that is in need of a spanking and a crew that is trespassing into someones else’s work space, JGR should really be questioned on this one.

  13. I agree nice job Joe Gibbs you got what you wanted a win you couldn’t beat them on the track so you have to beat them off the track

  14. Disappointed in you Mr Gibbs tell that story when you know its not true. What next take away their air guns.

  15. Mr Joe Gibbs shows how far a team owner will go to help his driver. The #78 team has been one of the most dominant on the circuit this year. Mr Gibbs might be justified in suspending the two #78 crew members but by not suspending Stevens you lost all credibility in the sport. Shame on you! Stevens was wrong by entering the #78 pit and escalating the situation.

    Mr Gibbs what are you going to do to Truex when he accidentally pushes your driver “Crybaby” Busch out of the way during another race? Bench him also?

    I guess if you can’t beat them on the track, you beat them in the pits!

    And NASCAR wonders why they are loosing fans and viewers.

    I have been watching NASCAR since the early 1970’s. The scuffle between Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough on the final lap of the Daytona 500 in 1979 is one of the most memorable!

  16. Really, Coach Gibbs? Stevens goes into the Truex pit area, exacerbates/escalates the situation, and the Truex team gets suspended? Uh-huh, really mature, really balanced. I’ve been a KB fan for a long time, but I’ve lost all respect for Gibbs. This move has a bad smell to it. Gibbs needs to re-evaluate his ethics and honesty.

  17. 2 faced Joe said they should get all the rednecks out of Nascar I think they succeeded look at the grandstands good job Joe.

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