In what it said was a move to get a head start on the 2015 season, Stewart-Haas Racing officials confirmed Wednesday the road crews and crew chiefs on their No. 10 and 41 Sprint Cup teams will swap before next weekend’s race at Texas.
Crew chief Tony Gibson will move from the No. 10 Chevrolet of Danica Patrick to the No. 41 team of Kurt Busch. Crew chief Daniel Knost will move from the No. 41 team to serve as the interim crew chief for Patrick and the No 10. The pit crews will remain the same.
The Observer first reported the move Tuesday.
“With the ban on testing next year, the last three races of this season take on even greater importance,” said Greg Zipadelli, SHR’s vice president of competition.
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“For Tony Gibson and Kurt, they’ll get three races together that will provide direction for next year. And for Daniel Knost and Danica, this is an opportunity for them develop a rapport that could potentially continue into 2015.”
The teams will remain intact for this weekend’s race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
In 70 Cup races, Gibson and Patrick have one pole and three top-10 finishes, including a career-best sixth for Patrick on Aug. 31 at Atlanta.
Knost has been with Busch since the start of the season. The duo qualified for the Chase but Busch was among the first four drivers eliminated from title contention. They won the spring race at Martinsville.
Truck series changes
NASCAR announced the starting field for Truck Series races will be cut from 36 to 32 beginning with the 2015 season. Cup and Nationwide series races will remain at 43 and 40, respectively.
NASCAR also announced it was eliminating guaranteed starting spots based on owner points in the Truck and Nationwide series next season.
In Trucks, the top 27 spots will be based on speed, plus four provisionals based on owner points and one past champion provisional (if needed).
In Nationwide, the top 33 spots will be based on speed, with six provisionals based on owner points and one past champion provisional (if needed).
NASCAR history on display
Next weekend’s Goodguys Southeastern Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway will feature a stock car collection driven by some of the biggest icons in motorsports.
The centerpiece of the display is a restored 1981 No. 2 Wrangler Pontiac from the Rod Osterlund racing stables, which has not been on public display in more than 25 years. The familiar blue-and-yellow Wrangler was driven by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Sr.
The event runs Oct. 24-26. General admission is $18, $6 for kids ages 7 to 12. Parking is $5. For more information, call 925-838-9876.