Stewart-Haas Racing, Front Row Motorsports confirm crew chiefs for 2015
With on-track action at Daytona International Speedway less than six weeks away, driver-crew chief combinations are still being finalized for some NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams.
New pairings already in place include:
Hendrick Motorsports — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Ives; Kasey Kahne and Keith Rodden.
Joe Gibbs Racing — Carl Edwards and Darian Grubb; Kyle Busch and Adam Stevens; Denny Hamlin and Dave Rogers.
Stewart-Haas Racing — Kurt Busch and Tony Gibson; Danica Patrick and Daniel Knost.
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates — Jamie McMurray and Matt McCall.
In an interview this weekend with AL.com, Patrick said she was "excited" to see what her and Knost could do together, but also indicated there will "probably have some changes for next year within the team." An SHR spokesman told FOXSports.com Monday that the "interim" tag had been lifted from Knost’s title.
Furniture Row Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. will have a new face calling the shots on his No. 78 Chevrolet for the 2015 season. Cole Pearn will take over the lead role on Truex’s team, replacing veteran crew chief Todd Berrier, who has joined Joe Gibbs Racing as director of inspections.
In addition, a crew chief shake-up is in the works at Front Row Motorsports for drivers David Gilliland and David Ragan.
At the end of the 2014 season, Frank Kerr moved on from the organization to join Richard Petty Motorsports’ NASCAR Xfinity Series team. As a result, Jay Guy took over crew chief duties on Gilliland’s car starting with the Oct. race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, while Derrick Finley moved into the crew chief role on Ragan’s No. 34 Ford.
A Front Row Motorsports representitive confirmed to FOXSports.com Monday that former Wood Brothers Racing crew chief Donnie Wingo will call the shots for Gilliland for the 2015 season.
Wingo was replaced on the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford by former Team Penske crew chief Jeremy Bullins, who will call the shots for Ryan Blaney as they run a limited schedule in 2015.
With new rules in place for the 2015 Sprint Cup season and a ban on testing, drivers and crew chiefs will need to work closely on equipment preparation and communication heading into the opening weeks of the season in late February.
The new driver-crew chief pairings will be a key storyline throughout the season. Some duos will succeed immediately, some will stumble initially, and others may struggle all together.