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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup

New Crew Chiefs for Busch, Almirola

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With the driver line-up secured at Stewart-Haas Racing, the team took the next step in announcing the crew chiefs. Needless to say, there’s been some changes made there, too.

“Bigger, Better, Faster, Lighter is what we strive for in the machining industry and it’s what we strive for in motorsports. These new appointments seamlessly marry our engineering expertise with our collective racing experience,” co-owner Gene Haas said.

Once again, Rodney Childers will be the crew chief for Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 Ford Fusion for the fifth year in a row. The pair have been won 14 races, and a championship during this time.

The No. 10 driven by Aric Almirola will have John Klausmeier calling the shots in 2018. Klausmeier has been with SHR since 2009, serving a race engineer. He led Kurt Busch to victory at Pocono Raceway in June 2016 when he served as the interim crew chief. 

Mike Bugarewicz will remain with Clint Bowyer for a second straight season, as he enters his third year on the pit box. Last year, the pair scored three runner-ups together.

Busch and the No. 41 will be led by Billy Scott. Scott has been with SHR since 2016, crew chiefing for Danica Patrick the past two years. Tony Gibson, who called the shots for Busch in 2016, will remain with the team in an “unnamed capacity.” 

“We have some of the finest talent in the industry and we’re confident in the leadership of each of our teams as we pursue wins and a championship in 2018,” said Stewart, co-owner of SHR with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. “Obviously, we’re very happy to have Kurt Busch back with SHR and I’m proud to have Aric Almirola as a part of our race team. He’s someone I’ve always been impressed with since we were teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing, and John Klausmeier is more than ready to be his crew chief. The partnership between Kevin Harvick and Rodney Childers is the best in the garage, and after a bunch of strong runs and second-place finishes, I think Clint Bowyer and Mike Bugarewicz are ready for a breakout year. We’re in a really good place with each of our race teams.”

Vice President of Competition Greg Zipadelli echoed the boss’ sentiments, stating the shift is meant to maximize their strengths while addressing areas that need improvement. 

“We feel this lineup gives us our best chance to succeed every time we bring our Ford Fusions to the racetrack,” Zipadelli added. “This is a very technical sport, but it’s the people who make it go, and we’ve got some of the best people in the business.”

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.