Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick get new crew chiefs for 2016
Stewart-Haas Racing announced Monday it has made multiple changes within the organization’s competition department, introducing new crew chiefs on the No. 14 and No. 10 teams.
Michael Bugarewicz has been named the crew chief for Tony Stewart’s No. 14 team, replacing Chad Johnston, who will serve as Kyle Larson’s crew chief at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sebates. In addition, SHR announced Billy Scott would serve as the crew chief on Danica Patrick’s No. 10 team for the 2016 season.
Rodney Childers will remain the crew chief on Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 team, while Tony Gibson will continue to call the shots for Kurt Busch’s No. 41 team.
"We made these changes after thoroughly evaluating our program to ensure that all four of our teams are consistently strong and competitive," said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. "In this business, you can’t rest and you can never be satisfied. You have to constantly improve. We feel these personnel changes enhance our strengths and shore up areas where we needed to be better."
Bugarewicz served as a race engineer on Harvick’s No. 4 SHR team, joining the organization last season. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a Masters of Science degree in mechanical engineering.
Prior to joining SHR, Bugarewicz worked as an engineer at Roush Fenway Racing, working with Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the No. 17 team. He will now be tasked with calling the shots for Stewart in the final year of his career.
Scott joins the organization from Michael Waltrip Racing, which closed shop at the end of the 2015 season. While at MWR, Scott worked under Rodney Childers, current crew chief for SHR’s Kevin Harvick. Scott also has a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.
Scott replaces Daniel Knost atop the pit box for next year, but Knost will remain with the SHR organization. After working with Kurt Busch and Patrick as crew chief for the past two years, Knost will serve as the manager of vehicle dynamics within SHR.
"We have great people at Stewart-Haas Racing and these changes prove that," said Stewart, driver and co-owner of SHR. "We were able to promote from within while also adding new talent.
"Change isn’t easy, and that’s particularly true when it comes to my relationship with Chad Johnston. He served as my crew chief during two very difficult seasons. He was always supportive and he’s become like a brother to me. I think very highly of Chad and wish him nothing but the best in his new opportunity."