By AMANDA VINCENT
As previously reported, Stewart-Haas Racing driver Danica Patrick and team driver and co-owner Tony Stewart will have new crew chiefs for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. SHR made an official announcement on Monday, confirming that Billy Scott will be the crew chief on Patrick’s No. 10 team, while Michael Bugarewicz will be Stewart’s crew chief on the No. 14 team.
“We have great people at Stewart-Haas Racing, and these changes prove that,” Stewart said. “We were able to promote from within, while also adding new talent.”
Scott comes to Stewart-Haas from Michael Waltrip Racing. MWR is expected to close up shop during the offseason. He was most recently crew chief on MWR’s No. 15 team for driver Clint Bowyer, who will head to Stewart-Haas in 2017 to replace the retiring Stewart in the No. 14. Scott became crew chief on the No. 15 team in June. He previously served as crew chief on MWR’s No. 55 team where he worked with drivers including David Ragan, Brian Vickers, Brett Moffitt and team co-owner Michael Waltrip. Before becoming a crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing, he was a race engineer at the organization, working with Rodney Childers, currently Kevin Harvick’s crew chief on the No. 4 team at Stewart-Haas.
Scott replaces Daniel Knost as Patrick’s crew chief. Knost, meanwhile, has been promoted to a leadership position at Stewart-Haas Racing.
Bugarewicz was already with Stewart-Haas Racing, working as a race engineer on Harvick’s No. 4 team. Before arriving at SHR in 2014, he was race engineer on the No. 17 team at Roush Fenway Racing. Bugarewicz also has race engineering experience in NASCAR’s Xfinity and Camping World Truck series.
Bugarewicz replaces Chad Johnston as Stewart’s crew chief. Johnston left SHR to become crew chief for Kyle Larson on the No. 42 team and Chip Ganassi Racing.
“Change isn’t easy, and that’s particularly true when it comes to my relationship with Chad Johnston,” Stewart said. “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.”
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