Bobby Hutchens' NASCAR sabbatical is over.
Hutchens is the new general manager of JTG/Daugherty Racing. Hutchens replaces Todd Berrier, who will be the new crew chief for Furniture Row Racing and driver Regan Smith.
“Bobby Hutchens is someone I have admired for a long time and the individual I’ve turned to many times for direction over my 18 years as a car owner,” said JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter. “In my opinion, he is the best in the business and we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber step in to help steer our team in the right direction during this important transition.”
David Hyder will serve as the interim crew chief for Bobby Labonte and the No. 47 Sprint Cup Series team at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, is currently 23rd in the point standings.
Hutchens, 52, graduated from N.C. State with a degree in mechanical engineering. In 1988, the third-generation racer joined Richard Childress Racing, where he spent the next two decades working his way up to shop foreman and eventually general manager.
In August 2008, Hutchens moved to Dale Earnhardt Inc. in a futile attempt to pull the fledgling company together in its final season of competition. That November, Hutchens joined Stewart-Haas Racing. He parted ways with SHR last summer.
Hyder spent six seasons with the Wood Brothers. He currently is the crew chief for Cale Conley, who won his first K&N Pro Series East race last Saturday at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway.
“Bobby Hutchens is very knowledgeable and experienced,” Labonte said. “He has a want and desire to do this, which will really help our small team become more structured so that we can keep moving forward. This is going to be a great advantage for us.
"Hyder has been in our race shop all year with the K&N Pro Series East team and he knows all the guys and some of them have worked on his cars. The fact that he already knows everyone and has experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, makes him a great choice to help us in our transition."