RCR has high hopes for new hire

Richard Childress Racing has hired Dr. Eric Warren as its new director of competition in hopes of righting the ship.

Warren replaces Kent Day, who served in an interim role after Scott Miller left the company last September for Michael Waltrip Racing. Miller’s loss has been felt dramatically at RCR, particularly at the Sprint Cup level.

Warren, 43, has a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. The Mt. Airy, N.C.-native has been involved in the motorsports industry since 1997. Warren worked as the chief aerodynamicist at Penske-Kranefuss Racing. In 2002, he became the technical director at Evernham Motorsports and advanced to vice president of the organization, then accepted a similar role at MWR. After a short-lived attempt with the U.S. Formula 1 effort, Warren joined Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 as technical director, overseeing all engineering.

Warren has a challenge ahead of him at RCR. The Welcome, N.C.-based operation’s Cup program has struggled this season to keep up with the sport’s elite teams. Of the three Cup squads, only Kevin Harvick qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup this season. He currently sits 10th in the point standings despite a reunion with his go-to crew chief Gil Martin before the Sept. 2 race at Atlanta. The following week at Richmond signified the one year anniversary of Harvick’s and RCR’s last Cup win.

Paul Menard and Jeff Burton are 16th and 19th, respectively, in the points standings. However, Menard has yet to finish in the top five this season. Burton finished fifth and second – at the February and July Daytona romps. But between both drivers, they have led a total of just 58 laps.

Warren started at RCR on Monday.