Brian Burns to continue as AJ Allmendinger’s crew chief in 2015
A season after guiding AJ Allmendinger to his first career Sprint Cup win and first appearance in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Brian Burns will remain crew chief for Allmendinger’s No. 47 team in 2015, JTG Daugherty Racing announced.
Burns made it official this week by signing a contract to continue with the organization for the upcoming season.
"I’m happy to be back on board as crew chief and I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone at JTG Daugherty Racing," Burns said. "Last season, I was able to get to know AJ both personally and professionally, and I feel like the relationship we have formed is great. Chemistry is vitally important to have between the driver, crew chief and team, and we have all gotten to know each other more. I feel like great things are in store for us this season."
Allmendinger, who earned a berth in the Chase with his dramatic victory on the road course at Watkins Glen last August, looks forward to working with Burns a second season.
"I am really happy to have Brian back as my crew chief," said Allmendinger, who joined JTG Daugherty full time ahead of the 2014 season after making select starts for the team in 2013. "As the year went on, he kept growing and getting better as a leader and as the crew chief to the No. 47 Chevrolet SS team. He was a huge part in bringing myself and the team its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, and I can’t wait to build on that heading into the 2015 season. I wouldn’t want any other guy to work with than Brian to help take our team to the next level."
In addition to winning a race and qualifying for NASCAR’s playoff, the No. 47 JTG Daugherty team earned its best points finish — 13th — since making its Sprint Cup debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with driver Marcos Ambrose on July 27, 2008.
"I think continuity in a driver and crew chief relationship is important," team co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "AJ and Brian came a long way toward learning how to communicate with each other in 2014. I feel confident that progress will continue in 2015. We also learned a lot about how to best use the resources from our technical alliance with RCR (Richard Childress Racing). I’m glad that we can build on what we did in 2014 rather than being forced to start over in both areas."
Burns, a Purdue University mechanical engineering graduate and former Indiana Army National Guard sergeant, enters his third full-time season as crew chief for the No. 47 team, and is focused on having a more consistent year than 2014 when Allmendinger recorded only five top-10 finishes — and just two top fives — over the 36-race season.
"I don’t know if many people realize it, but this is the first year we haven’t had to do something major to prepare for the season like changing manufacturers or joining an alliance and getting in new equipment," Burns said. "When you have to do something big like that, it clouds getting things prepped and ready. Now, we have the opportunity to go through everything and fine tune things instead of having to start from scratch like we have before. It should really help us with consistency so we can have the opportunity to finish even stronger in the points. I’m looking forward to starting the new season and seeing what this year has in store for us and all of our great sponsors."