By AMANDA VINCENT
Michael Waltrip Racing has shuffled some key personnel in efforts to improve performance of its two-team NASCAR sprint Cup Series operation that includes the No. 55 Toyota driven by David Ragan and the No. 15 Toyota driven by Clint Bowyer, according to a release from MWR on Tuesday. The changes sare effective immediately.
“Our goal is to best position the 15 and 55 teams for a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup,” MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman said. “MWR has an enormous amount of bright motivated and quality people working to solve the endless challenges inherent to racing. We have won poles and races, we have made the Chase and competed for a championship with this core group of personnel. We just felt it was time to shake things up a bit to try and spark fresh ideas and more consistent results. There are 12 races left before the 2015 Chase field is set, and we plan to be a part of it.”
Pattie remains a crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing, but instead of working as crew chief on the No. 15 team, hie becomes crew chief on the No. 55. He was with the No. 15 team since that team was added to the MWR stable in 2012. With the No. 15 team, Pattie scored three wins and finished second in points in 2012.
In turn, Billy Scott, the former crew chief on the No. 55 team, heads over to the No. 15 team to replace Pattie. Scott became crew chief of the No. 55 in August 2013. Previously, he was the lead engineer on the No. 55 under then-crew chief Rodney Childers.
According to the Michael Waltrip Racing press release, lead, secondary, and support engineers for each of the two teams make the swap with the crew chiefs. Meanwhile, car chiefs, road mechanics and pit crews remain where they are.
The No. 15 team is 18th in owner points point and 17th in driver points, while the No. 55 is 26th in owner points, depending on the services of multiple drivers before Ragan took over the seat permanently.
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