Big Stewart-Haas Shakeup Is Quest For Consistency
Danica Patrick and and crew chief Tony Gibson will be parting company. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Brian Lawdermilk)
By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Swapping Danica Patrick’s and Kurt Busch’s crew chiefs and road crews had been discussed for quite some time, Stewart-Haas Racing Competition Director Greg Zipadelli said Friday at Martinsville Speedway.
The personnel exchange that was announced earlier this week becomes effective for the Oct. 31-Nov. 2 AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Veteran crew chief Tony Gibson will leave Patrick and become Busch’s crew chief, while Daniel Knost will leave Busch and become Patrick’s interim crew chief.
The road crews assembled by each crew chief will make the change as well, but the pit crews will remain with their respective drivers. Gibson has been Patrick’s crew chief since she became fulltime in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013. Knost is in his first season as a crew chief.
“We are just basically looking to try to get both teams to be a little more consistent,” Zipadelli said. “They have had speed throughout the year, but haven’t necessarily put the whole season together, all the races at the level that we expect from them. We need to have all four cars running more consistently week-in and week-out.”
Patrick, who won the pole for the Daytona 500 in her rookie season, has collected no top starting positions under NASCAR’s new qualifying procedure. However, she noted that overall qualifying had gone better for her Read the full story »