Apparently, Martin Truex Jr. was actually serious about firing his pit crew.
Truex will have new front and rear tire changers/carriers when his No. 56 team shows up at Darlington Raceway on Saturday night after what must have been the last straw in a series of mistakes this season.
Several times, Truex has been thwarted by loose wheels this year. And when it happened late in the race at Richmond, Truex lost his cool and screamed on the radio, "You're all fucking fired! Every goddamn one of ya!"
Looking back now, Truex said, "It was hard not to say anything when our night ended the way it did."
"NASCAR is an emotional sport," he said in a team release. "We go from taking the lead and me screaming, 'Hell yea!' on the radio to having a loose wheel and going several laps down. I got pretty upset."
Truex said drivers pour their entire lives into NASCAR and there's pressure on every member of a race team. To that end, he said, "If a job is not getting done, then a change needs to be made."
That's why he'll have four different guys on his pit crew this week.
"As we know, the No. 56 has experienced several challenges on pit road and we feel the need to intervene," Michael Waltrip Racing competition director Steve Hallam said. "Pit crews are professional sportsmen and as such, they understand that sometimes changes need to be made."
Two of Truex's new crewmen are from MWR's Nationwide program; two are from the team's back-up squad.
Truex said he appreciated that MWR addressed the issue.
"I want to win more than anything in this world, and that's why I got very upset," he said.