TONY GLOVER - 4/17/1957 - is an American race mechanic, crew chief, and manager. He has won the Daytona 500 three times as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Glover's career began at the age of sixteen, working as the crew chief on his father's Late Model Sportsman pit crew. In 1983, he took a similar position with the Winston Cup team Morgan-McClure Motorsports's #4 Chevrolet entry, where he would remain for fourteen years. After seven seasons, Glover and Morgan-McClure earned their first Cup victory with Ernie Irvan at Bristol Motor Speedway in 1990. They followed that up with a victory in the 1991 Daytona 500. After accumulating five more victories together, Irvan departed Morgan-McClure for Robert Yates Racing. He would be replaced for the 1994 season by Sterling Marlin who won the Daytona 500 with Glover in their first outing together. Glover and Marlin would repeat that Daytona victory in 1995 and accumulated four additional wins over the next two
seasons. Late in the 1996 season, Glover was let go from Morgan-McClure and joined SABCO Racing to serve as team manager and crew chief for rookie Robby Gordon. Shortly into the 1997 season, Glover left his crew chief post to focus on his team manager duties. He reunited with Marlin, who joined SABCO, in 1998 for a few races as interim crew chief. After a short stint as co-crew chief of Marlin's car with Corrie Stott in 1999, Glover became permanent crew chief of the #42 SABCO entry driven by Joe Nemechek. Together, they earned three pole positions and Nemechek's first Cup victory at New Hampshire International Speedway. Glover served as crew chief for Nemechek's replacement for the 2000 season, Kenny Irwin, Jr., until Irwin suddenly died during practice at New Hampshire. He remained as crew chief for the rest of the 2000. He did not serve as crew chief for a team again until late 2004, when he rejoined Marlin's team. Glover did not hold a crew chief position again until 2012 when he was hired by Circle sport to serve as crew chief for rookie drivers Stephen Leicht and Cole Whitt. Glover left the team at the end of the season. Glover got 14 wins as the leader of his teams; seven times with Ernie Irvan, six with sterling Marlin, and the final one with Joe Nemechek. Notable wins include winning the Daytona 500 four times. Twice with Irvan (1991 & 1992), and twice with Marlin (1994 & 1995)
TONY GIBSON - 11/3/1964 - an American auto racing crew chief for the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS driven by Danica Patrick in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Gibson started in the 1980s hanging car bodies for various NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series teams. While working as a body hanger he was befriended by Alan Kulwicki, a driver and owner in the Sprint Cup Series, who was working in a nearby shop space. This led to Gibson becoming a mechanic on Kulwicki’s team in 1986. Gibson worked as car chief on Alan Kulwicki’s title team of 1992. After Kulwicki's death in 1993, until 1995, Gibson worked for former champion Bill Elliott helping him win the 1994 Southern 500 at Darlington. Hendrick Motorsports hired
Gibson to head the #24 car with driver Jeff Gordon. Serving as car chief for Gordon the combination recorded 29 victories, winning a Sprint Cup title in 1998 and in 2001. Gibson moved to Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2002 where he worked various roles. As a crew chief he worked with Steve Park and later Michael Waltrip. In 2005, he moved to the car chief position for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and later worked as his crew chief for 12 races in 2007. Gibson moved over to Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s #8 Chevrolet, in 2008, driven part time by Mark Martin and rookie Aric Almirola. A new race team, Stewart-Haas Racing, created by Tony Stewart hired Gibson to lead the #39 of Ryan Newman. A decision to pit for just 2 tires led to his first victory with Newman in 2010 in the Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix AZ. Gibson and Newman teamed to two win one race again in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 Danica Patrick moved up to the CUP series also racing for the Stewart-Hass stable. Gibson moved over to help the young rookie driver. Success came immediately as Patrick became the first woman ever to win a pole position, and it came at the very first race of the year at Daytona. Patrick ran a great race, and was running in the top five when the white flag flew. She ended up eighth; her best finish of her rookie season. For 2014 Gibson and Patrick will again be paired up in the CUP series.
DARIAN GRUBB - 10/9/1975 - a NASCAR mechanic and crew chief. Grubb spent four years as an assistant with Hendrick Motorsports. In 2006 Grubb took over the crew chief job temporarily for Jimmie Johnson's team at the 2006 Daytona 500, after regular crew chief Chad Knaus was suspended. The Johnson/Grubb combo went on to win that race for their first Daytona 500 victory. Johnson won two weeks later, again with Grubb, in the 2006 UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400. In 2007, he was named the crew chief for Casey Mears' No. 25 Hendrick team, where he scored another win, at the Coca-Cola 600. In the 2008 season, Grubb moved to an administrative role with Hendrick Motorsports, supervising the No. 5 and the renumbered No. 88 teams. On September 5, 2008, it was announced that Grubb was leaving Hendrick Motorsports at the end of this season to join the new Stewart-Haas Racing team to serve as Tony Stewart's
crew chief in 2009. Grubb was the winning crew chief for Tony Stewart in the 2009 All-Star race at Charlotte. Grubb also guided Tony Stewart to his first win as an Owner, Driver of a points paying race. The race was won at Pocono Raceway in the Spring of 2009 and was won on fuel strategy. During the 2011 season, Grubb led Tony Stewart from a mediocre pre-chase effort to five chase victories and Stewart's third NASCAR Championship. This was Grubb's first championship. However, Grubb announced that he had been informed of his release prior to Charlotte. Grubb became the crew chief for Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 team in 2012, replacing Mike Ford. The pair recorded five wins in 2012 and finished sixth in the points. 2013 was a tough year for Grubb as Hamlin crashed on the final lap of a race at Fontana CA while fighting for the win. Hamlin broke his back; but would refuse surgery and only miss four races. It was a gutty performance by Hamlin, but he clearly wasn't at 100% until late in the year. On the final race of the season Hamlin broke through and found victory lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This kept alive a streak few crew chiefs enjoy as having earned at least one win every year they have been a crew chief (even counting the four race stint for Johnson). To date Grubb has 20 CUP wins including: The two wins as a temporary chief for Johnson; one race win with Casey Mears (Mears only career win); 11 wins with Tony Stewart, and six with Denny Hamlin. Notable wins include 2006 Daytona 500; and the 2007 Coke 600. As 2014 kicks off Grubb is looking forward to a run at the CUP Championship again with Hamlin as his driver.
ALAN GUSTAFSON - 8/5/1975 - Born in Ormond Beach, Florida, Gustafson began his racing career helping his childhood friend, Casey Yunick, with their go-karts while eight years old. He was involved in sort form of racing all as ge grew up. In 1997, he become the crew chief of Andy Houston’s Late Model Stock Car and NASCAR Truck Series. One year later he became team engineer for Diamond Ridge Motorsports in the Nationwide Series. In 1999, Gustafson was employed at Hendrick Motorsports to become the 5 car's shock specialist. In 2002, he became the lead engineer for the 5 car. He remained the same for the next three years, which he collected one victory at Darlington Raceway. Before the 2005 season, he was announced as the crew chief for the 5 car, driven by Kyle Busch, and the duo paired up to claim a win. During the 2006 and 2007 seasons, he recorded at least one win in each of the seasons, two Chase for the Sprint Cup appearances, with a best points finish of 5th in 2007. In 2009, Mark Martin became the driver for the team. In the season, they recorded five wins, and a second place finish in points. Martin remained the driver in 2010. For the 2011 season, Rick Hendrick reassigned Gustafson as crew chief for Jeff Gordon and the 24 car, whose previous crew chief Steve Letarte was moved to Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s #88 team in turn. Over the course of the 2011 season, Gustafson helped Gordon back to victory lane 3 times at Phoenix, Pocono, and Atlanta. In 2012 Gordon won twice, and in 2013 the duo
won again. During this span Gordon passed Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip to move up to third in the all time CUP wins list. As 2014 kicks off Gustafson an Gordon are still paired up and Alan has 15 career wins. Four with Busch, five with Martin, and six with Gordon.
KEVIN HAMLIN - Hamlin began his racing career by accident when he had a lawn care business in Kalamazoo, Mi. Another Michigan racer named Butch Miller was a client of his. One day Butch was working on his race car. Hamlin stopped his mower and started up a conversation with Miller as he was working on his racecar. Miller needed some help so Hamlin lent a hand. That was the beginning Hamlin's racing career. Miller and Hamlin worked together racing in the ASA series winning two series championships as driver and crew chief. In 1990, Miller and Hamlin moved south to the hotbed of auto racing, Charlotte, North Carolina. Hamlin worked for Travis Carter's race team and immediately showed he had what it took to be in NASCAR. Hamlin took over full time crew chief duties working for Richard Jackson and driver Rick Mast in 1994. The
duo didn't post a win, but Mast did driver his way to a second and three third place finishes. Hamlin joined Richard Childress Racing in 1997 after Richard Jackson closed his shop. Hamlin was the leader of RCR's second team with Rookie driver Mike Skinner. RCR's first team was the famous No. 3 Chevrolet that Dale Earnhardt took to six NASCAR championships. After experiencing a disappointing start to both RCR's team in 1998, owner Richard Childress knew he had to do something. Childress decided he needed to swap his two crew chiefs in hopes that the chemistry between the two chiefs and drivers would help the teams turn the corner towards success. Hamlin went from working with a rookie driver to calling the shoots for the man known as the "Intimidator". The teams didn't produce any wins, but they turned the corner and showed promise as the season came to a close. In 1999 Earnhardt would get three wins including both races at Talladega, and one at Bristol. 2000 produced two more victories, and a second place finish in the CUP points. Things were looking bright for 2001. But on the final lap at Daytona Dale Earnhardt crashed and suffered fatal injuries. Kevin Harvick was immediately brought up from the Nationwide series to fill the seat of Earnhardt car, and Harvick would win with Hamlin at the helm in Harvick's third start. He would also win again at Chicagoland that season. Hamlin and Harvick paired up again in 2002, but mid-season was moved to be crew chief for Robby Gordon who also drove for Childress. IN 2003 the Gordon/Hamlin duo clicked and Gordon got two wins; sweeping the road course events that season. The pair split and Hamlin found himself as crew chief for four different drivers in 2004. He headed up Jeff Burtons team in 2005, and the team of Dave Blaney in 2006 and part of 2007. His final season as a crew chief was in 2008 as head wrench for Brian Vickers. For his career Hamlin had 9 CUP wins; five with Earnhardt and two each with Gordon and Harvick.
JEFF HAMMOND - 9/9/1956 - was a CUP series crew chief and is a commentator for NASCAR's coverage on Fox Sports, as well as a partial owner of Red Horse Racing. Hammond's NASCAR career began in 1974 as a tire changer for Walter Ballard, but soon moved to the jack man position. He served on the crew for three championship seasons between Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip. In 1982, Hammond was promoted to the crew chief position at Junior Johnson Motorsports for Darrell Waltrip and Waltrip won his second consecutive championship. Hammond and Waltrip became the top
driver-crew chief combination in NASCAR, winning 43 races during the eighties. During their time together; Waltrip nicknamed Hammond "Hollywood". Hammond followed Waltrip to Hendrick Motorsports, where they won the 1989 Daytona 500. In 1991, Waltrip and Hammond formed Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, where the combination clicked again, but in mid-1992, Hammond left after a win at Pocono Raceway when car owner Felix Sabates named him to work with Kenny Wallace for the 1993 season. Hammond teamed up again with Waltrip in 1996, but the two were unable to recapture the magic of the '80's. In 1998, Hammond joined Roush Racing as the crew chief for Chad Little. The combination was an immediate success. Despite failing to qualify for the spring race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Little finished second at the Texas 500. Hammond stayed at Roush Racing until the end of the 2000 season, including a stint where he was crew chief for the first six races for Kurt Busch, before leaving after he was hired to work at Fox Sports. In 2001, Hammond and Waltrip were reunited once again, this time as broadcasters for Fox Sports coverage of NASCAR. When the series moved to Rockingham, NC, for the second race of the season, Fox unveiled a new mobile studio for NASCAR pre-race broadcasts to be used at venues where no permanent on-site studio was available. With Hammond's nickname from the past ("Hollywood"), Waltrip remarked "There's Hollywood Hammond inside the Hollywood Hotel," and the nickname for the mobile studio stuck. Hammond's position in the booth is unique. On selected qualifying shows, he will call qualifying from the broadcast booth. On selected qualifying events, he will report from pit road. During the race, he is positioned in the studio but will frequently exit the studio to demonstrate from the cutaway car, and during pit stops will analyse pit stops. Also, because of the long nature of the races, he and Chris Myers will recap the race while there is a break with the main booth (usually during caution flags). Hammond also is able to substitute for a pit reporter if necessary. For his career as a crew chief; Hammond led Waltrip from 1982 through 1992. All Hammond's 43 wins would come in that period. he would also serve in brief stints for drivers; Terry Labonte, Rich Bickle, Greg Sacks, Kurt Busch, etc. His most notable wins include the CUP Championship in 1982 and 1985. He was finished in the top five in points every year from 1982-1987. Race wins include the Coke 600 in 1985, 1988 & 1989; and the Daytona 500 in 1989
STEVE HMIEL - - Was a NASCAR Sprint CUP winning crew chief. It is often stated that he is the most successful crew chief to have not won a CUP Championship. His career started as the head wrench in 1985 calling the shots for Terry Labonte. They paired up for one win working for owner Billy Hagan. They won again for Hagan in 1986, but in 1987 Labonte moved on to drive for Junior Johnson. sterling Marlin was brought in to replace Labonte, but they were unable to produce any results as Marlin only had three top ten finishes. They parted ways and Hmiel didn't crew chief again until 1992 when he paired up with Jack Roush and driver Mark Martin. this would be the heyday of Hmiel's career as he led the versital Martin to 13 wins over a four year span, and finished second in the CUP championship in 1994; getting beat out by a dominant Dale Earnhardt Sr. From 1992-1996 he would finish no worse than sixth in the series points. Jimmy Fennig would be brought in to lead Martin in 1997 as Hmiel would assume other duties with Roush. In 1998 Steve was named crew chief
for Roush driver Johnny Benson, but they had limited success. Hmiel moved to Dale Earnhardt Inc into a management position in 1999, but was called on to fill in for one race as a crew chief after Steve Parks lead man Phillippe Lopez resigned. After the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt Sr in 2001, DEI was reeling. Once again Hmiel had to come out of his management position to head up Michael Waltrip's team and finish the season, as he assumed the crew chief duties from Scott Eggleston. The same thing occurred in 2002 as Hmiel had to come out of the front office to take over crew chief duties from Paul Andrews for driver Steve Park. At the end of the 2004 season Michael Waltrip and his team mate Dale Earnhardt Jr swapped teams and shops. They struggled all season until Hmiel returned to a crew chief role to lead Earnhardt Jr. Within seven races Hmiel had Earnhardt Jr back in victory lane as he won the race at Chicagoland. Through 2005 Hmiel had led his drivers to 16 wins as a crew chief. Probably the most notable win is the Southern 500 in 1993 with Mark Martin.
HARRY HYDE - 1/17/1925 - 5/13/1996 - was a leading crew chief in NASCAR stock car racing in the 1960's through the 1980's. In 1965 he was hired by Nord Krauskopf to be the crew chief of the K&K Insurance team. By 1969 the team began to see considerable success with driver Bobby Isaac, winning 17 races. In 1970 the team won the NASCAR championship and Hyde was named Mechanic of the Year. The K&K team was one of the leaders through most of the 1970s, but in 1977 Krauskopf sold the team to J. D. Stacy. The team continued to win some races, but in 1978 the relationship between Stacy and Hyde deteriorated and Hyde left the team in mid-June. In 1979 Amelio Scott hired Harry Hyde to be the crew chief for his family team in 1979 with his son Tighe Scott as the driver. Their first race together was the 1979 Daytona 500. Scott finished sixth in the race. At the following race at Rockingham Speedway, Scott recorded his best NASCAR result when he finished fourth. In 1980 Hyde opened his own racing engine shop and supplied engines to various teams. In 1984, he was hired by Rick Hendrick to be crew chief for a team he was partner in, All Star Racing. The partnership did not work out, and Hendrick bought the team out forming Hendrick Motorsports. The team won three races in 1984 with Geoff Bodine driving still with Hyde as crew chief. Hyde was then paired with new driver Tim Richmond, a young
open-wheel racer from Ashland, Ohio, as Hendrick went to a two-car operation. The brashness of the new driver from outside the southern stock car circuit did not initially sit well Hyde. However, after a few races they developed a relationship and began to win races. This season was the source of much of the story line for the motion picture Days of Thunder. Hyde's character was portrayed by Robert Duvall and in the film called "Harry Hogge". The team was very successful in 1986. Richmond won 7 races and finished third in points behind legends Dale Earnhardt and Darrell Waltrip. Richmond, who was noted for womanizing, was diagnosed with AIDS during 1987 and missed most of the season. Veteran Benny Parsons and owner Rick Hendrick filled in for the #25 team. Richmond still managed to win 2 races in 8 starts but resigned from the team late that year. The combined performance of the three drivers would have been good enough for second in points in the driver standings. Ken Schrader became the driver for the #25 team in 1988 but Hendrick had become a three car operation, and Hyde sometimes felt ignored. He left after the season to become crew chief for Stavola Brothers Racing where he worked through the first half of the 1991 season, before moving to Chad Little's #19 Bullseye BBQ/Tyson Foods Ford. Hyde's race shop is still part of the Hendrick Motorsports facility, and a road within the complex is known as Hyde's Way. Hyde died in 1996 of a heart attack brought on by a blood clot. For his career Harry compiled 56 career wins; the first 36 wins all coming with driver Bobby Isaac. some of the more notable races he won included the World 600 (with Buddy Baker); and the 1986 Southern 500 with Tim Richmond. As mentioned he won the CUP Championship in 1970 with drivers Isaac; but should also be noted he finished second in points with Dave Marcis in 1975 and also with Isaac in 1968.
DAVID IFFT - was a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series for 11 season from 1976-2005. His first season he paired with Darrell Waltrip and owner DiGard Racing. The duo would win a race at Martinsville their first season, and finish eighth in points. Ifft didn't hold the crew chief position again until 1981. He paired with Cale Yarborough to win two races wheeling the MC Anderson owned Valvoline sponsored Buick. They teamed to win races in the Spring race at Atlanta and the Summer event at Daytona while only running 18 races. He again was away from the CUP series until 1984 when he headed up Ron Bouchard's team for two season. While not getting a win, the two did have a second place finish each year. The rest of his career he headed a team sporadically. Out until 1992he returned to led Rick Carelli for two events, and Jimmy Horton for nine. He again teamed with Carelli for three events in 1993. From 1997-2005 he only crew chiefed 26 times. Those drivers included Kenny Wallace, Bobby Hamilton, Robby Gordon and others. NO attempts after 1985 produced a top five finish, Ifft also led various driver from 1995 to 2004 in the Nationwide series. He was the full time wrench in 1995 for Phil Parsons and they posted three top five finishes, and an eighth in points. In 1997 Glenn Allen Jr was his driver with a best finish of fourth. The rest of his career he was the chief for lesser know drivers such as Gary Laton, David Blankenship, Jeff Finley, Jeff Spraker and others. after 1977 his drivers only posted a total of three top five finishes.
JAMES INCE - 1969 - was an American NASCAR crew chief. He has served as crew chief for various teams such as Roush Racing, Tyler Jet Motorsports, MB2 Motorsports, and MBV Racing. his career started in 1991 in the Winston Racing Series with Larry Phillips, and the following two seasons, the two won 70 of 80 races, and won two consecutive championships. (the Winston Racing series was made up of 92 short tracks across the nation. Winston offered regional and national prizes to drivers totaling about $1.4 million.) In 1993, Ince worked with Mark Martin in the Busch Series, helping him win seven races. In late 1996, Ince became the crew chief for Winston Cup driver Ted Musgrave of Roush Racing beginning at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He held the position until he was replaced by Joey Knuckles in the 1998 race at Michigan. In 1999, Ince remained with Roush Racing when he became the crew chief for Kevin Lepage, but subsequently left the team. In 2000, Ince became the crew chief for Johnny Benson, Jr. of MB2 Motorsports. The duo recorded 13 top-five finishes and a win at Rockingham Speedway in 2002, the first Cup victory for Ince. Also in 2002, Ince
served as crew chief in the Busch Series for Jerry Nadeau. In 2003, Ince was fined $1,000 for violations at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and later in the year, Ince missed the Banquet 400 due to personal reasons, and eventually requested for his release from the team. In 2004, Ince joined Peak Fitness Racing with Hermie Sadler as the driver. In 2005, it was reported that Ince will serve as crew chief for PPI Motorsports driver Bobby Hamilton, Jr., and Ince remained with the team the following season when Hamilton was replaced by Travis Kvapil. For his career Ince was a crew chief from 1996 through 2006. He only served as crew chief for the same driver in five season.; 1996 with Ted Musgrave, and 2000-2003 with Johnny Benson.He got the one lone with with Benson at Rockingham NC.
DALE INMAN - 8/19/1936 - is a retired NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chief ; best know for being the crew chief of his first cousin Richard Petty. He spent most of his career working at Petty Enterprises. Richard started racing in the late 1950s with Maurice and Inman as part of his pit crew, as they were too young to be his crew chief. In 1960, Petty won his first NASCAR race. By this time Maurice and Inman had become NASCAR mechanics. Maurice had been the mechanic and crew chief at the races. Petty Enterprises had him start concentrating on engine building for the team, and Inman became the crew chief. In 1967, Petty won a NASCAR-record ten straight races and 27 races during that season with Inman. All 27 victories were in the same car that they built in 1966. He departed the team days after winning the 1981 Daytona 500. While being interviewed after winning the race, he told CBS reporter Ned Jarrett that would soon be leaving the team. Inman had been crew chief for 192 of Petty's 193 victories. He was hired by Rod Osterlund to be the crew chief for 1980 champion Dale Earnhardt. That June, Osterlund sold the team to J. D. Stacy and Earnhardt quit Stacy's team in August. He stayed with the team until he was hired by Billy Hagan to join Terry Labonte's team. Together they won the 1984 CUP championship. He returned to Petty Enterprises in 1986 to oversee the business side. In an interview, he said, "This is my homecoming and this is where I belong. Damn, I am happy." He continued in his role helping Richard Petty until Petty retired in 1992. After his retirement, Inman helped Petty Enterprises drivers Rick Wilson, John Andretti, and Bobby
Hamilton. Inman retired from NASCAR in 1998. He continued as a consultant for Petty Enterprises for a while afterward. Away from racing, Inman has helped the Victory Junction Gang Camp get started. Inman has an impressive resume'. In his career he was the crew chief for eight CUP Championships; Seven with Petty, and one with Labonte. He was the crew chief for 168 wins; 166 of those with Petty. In total he was with the Petty team for 198 race wins. Notable race wins include the following: Southern 500 1967; World 600 1975 & 1977; Daytona 500 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, and 1981.
CHAD JOHNSTON - a NASCAR Cup series crew chief since 2011; grew up racing open wheel midget cars on the paved and dirt short tracks in Indiana. most recently worked for Michael Waltrip Racing as Martin Truex Jr.’s crew chief. Following a stint with Evernham Motorsports, he joined MWR in 2009 and became Pat Tryson’s engineer the following season. At the June Pocono race, Johnston was promoted to crew chief. In their first full season together (2012), Truex and the No. 56 team qualified for the Chase. IN 2013 Truex was in a tight battle to make the chase. At Richmond (the cut off race to get into the Chase controvery erupted. Michard Waltrip Racing busted after Richmond for actions detrimental to the sport in what was deemed manipulating the outcome of the event. In the waning laps of the race with
Truex just outside making the Chase, it was deemed his Waltrip Racing team mate spun himself out intentionally to creat a yellow flag and thus bucn up the field. NASCAR intercepted team radio communications that seemed to indicate this was an intentional attempt to help Truex make the Chase. Brian Vickers was also ordered to pit (for no reason) to help to allow Truex to make the Chase. Truex qualified for the Chase taking the final position. All three MWR teams were penalized 50 points Waltrip Racing was also hit with a $300,000 fine (the largest in racing history. The 50 point penalty moved Truex out of the final Chase position down to 17th in the points at the cut-off, and thus he missed the Chase. This gave Ryan Newman the final Chase spot. IN addition with all the controversy, NASCAR made an unprecedented move and added a 13th car to the Chase (Jeff Gordon). It was determined Truex's team was an innocent victim of the rules infractions, but since the issues was caused by his team mates and to benefit him; he was also penalized. Johnston remained with Truex through the 2013 season, but with seven races to go in the season he asked for his release from Waltrip Racing. Johnston replaces Steve Addington on the No. 14 Chevy; Addington had been the crew chief for the past two seasons. Addington is expected to go to Phoenix Racing as crew chief in 2014.
FRANK KERR - a NASCAR Cup series crew chief since 2005 had been the crew chief for 187 events to date. Keer's first start as a CUP crew chief was with Shane Hmiel (son of crew chief Steve Hmiel). IN 2007 he hed the crew chief position for David Reutimann for owner Michael Waltrip; however he did head up PJ Jones who started the two road course events that seaons instead of Reutimann. IN 2008 He moved over to help Robby Gordon for ten races, and also worked with Marcus Ambrose who drove for the Wood Brothers in six events. Ambrose took a full time CUP ride in 2009 with JTG-Daugherty Racing, and Kerr went with him. The duo posted six top five finished in two season. IN 2011 Ambrose went to Richard Petty Motorsports, and JTG-Daugherty hired Bobby Labonte to replace him. The
paid kicked off the season with a fourth place finish in the Daytona 500, but it would be all downhill from there as it would be their only top five finish. IN 2012 Kerr only had one race as crew chief as he led David Reutimann at Phoenix. 2013 saw him hired by Bob Jenkins to head up the full time efforts of David Gilliland. Gilliland would finish second at Talladega as he and team mate David Ragan paired up to push to the front and get Ragan an upset win in the Aaron's 499. Kerr also had a second place finish with Ambrose in 2009; and has recorded eight top five finishes. 2014 Kerr looks to again be teamed up with Gilliland driving for Jenkins.
CHAD KNAUS - 8/5/1971 - an American NASCAR crew chief. He has worked in NASCAR since 1991. Over this time, he has worked for four teams: Dale Earnhardt Incorporated, Melling Racing, Tyler Jet Motorsports, and Hendrick Motorsports. He has been a crew chief in NASCAR for 12 years. Knaus grew up around the racetracks of the Midwest helping his father, John, race against the likes of Mark Martin, Alan Kulwicki, Rusty Wallace and Dick Trickle. By the time he was 14, Knaus served as crew chief during his father's Rockford Speedway championship season. A few years and seven track championships later, Knaus moved to North Carolina in 1991 to pursue a job in national stock car racing. After working with Stanley Smith's stock car team, Knaus became employed on the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team led by crew chief Ray Evernham and raced by driver Jeff Gordon. From 1993 to 1997, Knaus advanced from being a general fabricator to managing the entire chassis and body construction program for the No. 24 team. Serving as a tire changer on the original Rainbow Warriors pit crew, Knaus was a part of the 1995 and 1997 championship teams. Following the 1997 season, Knaus joined Dale Earnhardt, Inc. as car chief, where he worked with Steve Park. During the 1998 season, he moved to Tyler
Jet Motorsports, and in 1999, the call came that would lead Knaus to Dodge, Melling Racing. Ray Evernham wanted Knaus to lead the Dodge development team, an opportunity he quickly accepted. During two Dodge test sessions, Knaus worked with Melling Racing driver, Stacy Compton. The two worked well together, resulting in Knaus' hire as crew chief for Stacy Compton in 2001. After being hired as crew chief for Stacy Compton at Melling Racing, the combination swept the poles at Talladega in 2001 after starting on the front row for the Daytona 500 and qualifying 3rd at Daytona in July. Despite restrictor plate track qualifying prowess, Compton and Knaus scored just one Top 10 (Daytona 500) and 5 Top 15 finishes. Knaus returned to Hendrick Motorsports for the 2002 season, becoming crew chief of the No. 48 car driven by rookie driver Jimmie Johnson. Knaus and Johnson finished the season fifth in the Driver's Championship. In 2003, the No. 48 team finished second in the Driver's Championship. In 2004, the season began with some early disappointments in weeks two and three at Rockingham and Las Vegas. However, the team quickly rebounded with a week five win at the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway. Subsequent victories at the Coca-Cola 600 and the Pocono 500 helped solidify their place in the NASCAR Chase for the Cup towards the end of the season. The second victory at the Subway 500 in Martinsville on October 24, 2004, was marred by tragedy when Rick Hendrick's son, Ricky, nieces and brother were killed in an airplane crash en route to the race. All eight passengers and both pilots died in the incident. The team eventually finished second in the Cup Series points, losing to Kurt Busch by eight points. Knaus and Johnson finished the 2005 season ranked fifth in the standings after a crash in the season ending race at Homestead. In 2006, Johnson and Knaus won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with 5 wins. In 2007 Knaus and Johnson took home their second straight championship with a series best 10 wins. Hendrick Motorsports was the dominant team in 2007, amassing 18 wins in 36 races. In 2008 Knaus and Johnson tied NASCAR history with three straight championships set by Cale Yarborough. The Lowe's Racing team had 7 wins. In 2009 Knaus shared 13 top-fives, 20 top-tens, 6 wins, and 1 DNF with his driver Jimmie Johnson; and their fourth straight CUP Championship. 2010 brought a fifth straight CUP championship as the duo recorded six additional wins. Johnson struggled in 2011 and finished eighth in the points Chase. Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards tied for the points; but stewart won in the tie breaker. In 2012 Johnson was again in the middle of the championship hunt. Entering the final race it was a toss up who would win between he and Brad Keselowski. Johnson burnt up a rear gear early in the race relegating him to a 36th place finish, and gave the Championship to Keselowski. 2012 saw the duo return to championship form as Johnson won his sixth CUP Championship. But once again it was a dog fight. This time between he and Matt Kenseth. Johnson managed to win the championship by 19 points. As we head into the 2014 season, the duo of Knaus and Johnson are still at the top of the heap, and look to be the team to beat once again. They are now just one championship behind the record of seven set by Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. To date Knaus has garnered 64 wins. No year has he had less than two wins with Johnson. He also has won since major races as the Daytona 500 (2013); Coke 600 (2004 & 2005); Southern 500 (2004 & 2012); and Brick Yard 400 (2006, 2008, 2009 & 2012). Knaus has found himself in the middle of controversy on several occasions. His first suspension, for two races, came in March 2001 for a seat belt violation at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was notable because of the first safety violation in the wake of Dale Earnhardt's death. Knaus appealed, but lost, returning at Texas three weeks later. While working for Hendrick Motorsports, Knaus was accused of cheating after Jimmie Johnson's 2006 Daytona 500 qualifying run. He made an illegal adjustment to the rear window, which resulted in his suspension from Sprint Cup events until March 22. Despite the loss of his crew chief (and having to start from the rear of the field in a backup car), Johnson won the Daytona 500, and two of the first three races overall, with interim crew chief, Darian Grubb. Knaus again found himself at the center of controversy during the road race debut of NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow. On June 23, 2007. Knaus and team mate of the No. 24 crew (chiefed by Steve Letarte) and the No. 48 crew entered the inspection line for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway with the newest body style out of the Hendrick shop. While both cars fit the templates, NASCAR officials questioned the shape of the fenders in between the template points. Johnson was not allowed to qualify the car, and he started at the back of the field. Knaus was fined $100,000 and was suspended for six races. In February 2012 Knaus was once again accused by NASCAR officials of a rules violation involving the #48 car of Jimmie Johnson after it failed pre-race inspection for the Daytona 500. NASCAR issued penalties: Knaus and #48 car chief Ron Malec suspended six races each, Knaus fined $100,000, driver Jimmie Johnson docked 25 driver points. On March 20, 2012, the chief appellate officer of NASCAR rescinded the suspensions and docked drivers points but left the financial penalty in place.
RICHARD "SLUGGER" LABBE - 6/14/1968 - an American NASCAR crew chief and as the start of 2014 is currently employed by Richard Childress Racing and working on the #27 Menards Chevrolet Impala driven by Paul Menard. He introduced to racing at a young age. His father, Ray, worked on cars in the NASCAR Busch North Series and often brought his son to the events. In 1984 at the age of 15, Labbe began work on the crew of a Late Model stock car team. Two years later he began working in the NASCAR Busch North Series. In 1991, Labbe moved into the NASCAR Nationwide Series, working with driver Terry Labonte. In three seasons the team captured five victories. When Labonte made the move to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup in 1994, Labbe joined assuming the duties of front tire changer and mechanic for his No. 5 team with Hendrick Motorsports. Labbe became the car chief in his second year with the organization and helped them win the Unocal pit crew championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 1996. In 1998, Labbe joined Robert Yates Racing (RYR) when he was offered the crew chief position for the No. 28 car driven by Kenny Irwin, Jr. He led the team for 29 races. Irwin, Jr. earned the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year that year. Labbe remained at RYR through 2000. In September 2001, Labbe accepted a position with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. becoming the crew chief for the No. 15 car driven by Michael Waltrip. The two year union produced three wins. In 2005, Labbe moved to Evernham Motorsports and served as crew chief for Jeremy Mayfield. The team won the race at Michigan
International Speedway that year and qualified for a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Returning to Yates Racing in 2006, Labbe worked with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett for the first 20 races of the season. Labbe missed 4 races that season due to a suspension handed down by NASCAR for an illegal sway bar mount. Labbe spent the first half of 2007 with Sterling Marlin at MB2 Motorsports but then headed to High Point, North Carolina and Bill Davis Racing for the second. Labbe began the 2008 season working with Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve helping him with the switch from open wheel to NASCAR before sponsorship fell through. In 2009, Labbe moved to TRG Motorsports leading David Gilliland in the team’s first season in NASCAR Sprint Cup. In 2010, he was crew chief for the Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) car driven by Paul Menard in his fourth full-season of Sprint Cup. In 2011, Paul and Slugger departed the financially struggling RPM team to go race at Richard Childress Racing as a fourth team with the number being 27 and the sponsor being Menard's. On July 31, 2011, Paul Menard won his first career CUP race at the Brickyard 400. The pairing remained together through as the 2014 season kicks off. So far he has five wins. One win with Waltrip, winning the Daytona 500 in 2003. The other with Menard in the Brick Yard 400 in 2011.
STEVE LETART - 5/14/1979 - an American NASCAR crew chief. Letarte began working for Hendrick Motorsports part time in 1995. In 1996, at the age of 16, he joined the group full-time. From 1997 to 1999, he worked as a tire specialist for the #24 team. He then became a mechanic and finally car chief in 2002. He first began as crew chief for Jeff Gordon when he took over the job of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet from Robbie Loomis in September 2005. In Letarte's sixth race as crew chief with Gordon, he visited victory lane for the first time in October 2005, winning the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Entering the 2006 season, Hendrick Motorsports made wholesale changes to the #24 team. Gordon fought major handling issues at almost all of the intermediate racetracks, which relegated Gordon to run outside of the top-ten and even outside of the top-fifteen. When the series reached the 2-mile racetrack of Michigan International Speedway, near Brooklyn, Michigan, in mid-June, Gordon experienced a huge turnaround at a track that he had struggled at in previous season. Gordon
led the most laps and finished eighth in a rain-shortened event; showing an instant improvement in Gordon's down-force program. For the first time since 2004, the #24 DuPont Chevrolet made the Chase for the Cup. Gordon experienced an up-and-down postseason in 2006. In 2007, Gordon finished the year with 6 wins, Gordon's highest total since 2001. The #24 team also finished with 30 top-10s, setting a new NASCAR modern era record for most top 10s in a single season. They dominated the points standings throughout much of the year, earning, in total, 353 more points than Jimmie Johnson's #48 team, and 706 more points than Tony Stewart's #20 team (who earned the third most points). However, due to NASCAR's "Chase for the Cup" playoff system, in which the points are reset based on the number of wins each team accumulates throughout the "regular" season (the first 26 races), Gordon lost the championship. Their performance in the Chase was exceptionally good however, winning two races and scoring an average finish of 5.1, but it was not enough to outperform teammate Jimmie Johnson. 2008 would be a brutal reminder of how difficult racing in NASCAR's top series can be. Astonishingly, Gordon went win less for the first time since his rookie year in 1993. Despite being the target of blame from many critics for the team's failures, Jeff Gordon and Rick Hendrick stood by the longtime Hendrick Motorsports employee and Letarte returned at the helm for 2009. Gordon snapped his career-high 47-race win less streak with a victory in the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, but alas, it would be Gordon's only win of the 2009 season. The team had a strong year however, finishing 3rd in the final standings. As an organization, Hendrick Motorsports finished an impressive 1-2-3 in the standings as Gordon finished third, Mark Martin finished second and Jimmie Johnson won his record-setting fourth-straight championship. On November 23, 2010, Letarte was named the crew chief for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. beginning in the 2011 season. The pairing of Letarte and Earnhardt, Jr. showed strong results early in the 2011 season. On April 3, 2011, Earnhardt, Jr. held the lead late in the race at Martinsville Speedway, but was passed with less than 5 laps to go by Kevin Harvick who would drive on to victory. During the Coca-Cola 600, Earnhardt, Jr. held the lead on the final lap, but was forced to surrender the lead to Harvick when he ran out of fuel. In the very next race at Kansas Speedway, Letarte had called Earnhardt to pit road thinking that no drivers would be able to make it to the end on fuel. Unfortunately for Letarte and Earnhardt, Jr. Brad Keselowski was able to make it to the checkered flag and relegated the #88 to a 2nd place finish. Letarte led Earnhardt, Jr. back into the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship for the first time since the 2008 season. Despite failing to win a race during the course of the season, Earnhardt, Jr. scored 4 top five finishes. Letarte and Earnhardt, Jr. continued together into the start of the 2012 season. The season started off strong with a 2nd place finish in the Gatorade Duel, followed by a second place finish in the Daytona 500. Earnhardt, Jr. finally broke into victory lane on June 17, 2012 by winning the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway, snapping Earnhardt, Jr.'s 143 race win less streak. Earnhardt failed to win a race again in 2013 but the duo posted a strong year as they posted ten top five finishes; and finished fifth in points. His best since 2009. As 2014 kicks off LeTart and Earnhardt Jr will pair up for one final season. Starting in 2015 LeTart will leave Hendrick Motorsports to become an analyst for NBC Sports. To this points LeTart has led his drivers to 11 CUP wins; the most notable being the 2007 Southern 500 with Gordon.
ROBBIE LOOMIS - 6/7/1964 - is a former NASCAR crew chief who worked for Petty Enterprises and Hendrick Motorsports during his time as a crew chief, working most notably with Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon. Loomis's first professional crew chief position came with Petty Enterprises in 1990, when he replaced Dale Inman as Richard Petty's crew chief. He worked with Petty Enterprises as crew chief for 9 years. As an underdog at Petty Enterprises, Loomis managed to lead the famed #43 car to the winner's circle three times. He won in 1996 (Phoenix) and in 1997 (Rockingham) with Bobby Hamilton. John Andretti piloted the car to victory lane in 1999 (Martinsville). In 2000, Loomis went to work at Hendrick Motorsports as Jeff Gordon's crew chief, and prior to that he had not received a check from anyone other than Petty Enterprises. Robbie Loomis's greatest success came as crew chief for NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon.
The pair's first season in 2000 was a struggle. Despite winning 3 races and finishing 9th in the season standings, performance was well-short of the high standards set by the #24 Hendrick Motorsports team. However, in the final 5 races of the year, the team posted 5 top-10s and 3 top-5s: a clear indication of the improving communication between Loomis and Gordon. The momentum carried into 2001 and the #24 team reached the pinnacle of the sport by winning the NASCAR Cup Championship. In addition, the team won 6 races, including the prestigious Brickyard 400. The following years, in 2002 and 2003, the team performed respectably, ranking 4th in the standings and winning 3 races in both years, but their performance was not quite of the championship caliber expected from the #24 team. Loomis and the team almost returned to championship glory in 2004, but finished 3rd in NASCAR's first "Chase for the Championship" by a heartbreaking 16 points to winner Kurt Busch. They won 5 races that year. 2005 began in thrilling fashion as Loomis won his very first Daytona 500: NASCAR's crown jewel event. The #24 team also went on to win at Martinsville and Talladega early in the year, but the rest of the season would be a nightmare. The team shockingly missed NASCAR's "Chase for the Championship," and Loomis was replaced by 26-year old Steve Letarte for the final 10 races to prepare the young crew chief for 2006. Loomis had been grooming Letarte, the team's car chief since 2002, to take over the position. Loomis had already planned on leaving the stressful job after 2005 due to a reorganization of priorities. Loomis served as vice president for racing operations at Petty Enterprises, returning there in 2006. With the team that emerged from the merger of Gillette Evernham Motorsports and Petty Holdings, Loomis serves as the executive director of racing operations. Crew chiefs of all four racing teams report to him, and as well as the race teams, he oversees pit crews, team management and team transport. In January 2012, Loomis was released of his duties as Chief Operating Officer for Richard Petty Motorsports. For his career Loomis collected 26 wins. All but three with Gordon. His most notable accomplishments include winning the 2001 CUP Championship; Brickyard 400 in 2001 & 2004; Southern 500 in 2002; and Daytona 500 in 2005.
GIL MARTIN - - is an American NASCAR crew chief. He is the first crew chief to win in all three divisions of Cup, Nationwide, and Truck Series. He started out as crew chief in 1996 with Kenny Wallace as the driver. They ran the whole season with a best finish of seventh at Darlington. The next three season he headed up part time efforts for Wallace, Lance Hooper, and Dave Blaney. In 2000 Blaney ran full time, and posted back to back top tens finishes. The next two years saw Martin on crew chief four events; but in 2002 he was back for a full time gig with Richard Chikdress Racing. Gordon and Martin didn't click, so after 12 races Childress swapped crew chiefs. Martin went to driver Kevin Harvick, and Gordon got crew chief Kevin Hamlin. The Harvick / Martin duo finished out the season well with a win and six top tens. But in 2003 after just five races with Harvick, Martin was
replaced by Todd Barrier. He spent the rest of 2003-2005 without a full time job. CHildress hired Clint Bowyer to drive for him in 2006, and paired him up with Martin. The two won two races and had 16 top five finishes from 2006-2008. Martin started off the 2009 season as chief for Casey Mears, but after nine events he swapped Martin to Harvick. The pair stayed together through 2011 and produced seven wins and finished third in the points both seasons. 2012 saw Martin head up seven different drivers, with he going back to finish out the last 12 races of the season with Harvick. The two win a race, and had five top tens. He remained with Harvick for 2013 and they won four races. For the upcoming 2014 season Martin will remain Childress Racings crew chief, but will switch over to head up driver Austin Dillon (Childress' grandson) To date Martin has won 16 races, including the Coke 600 twice with Harvick. He;s led his drivers to be in the Chase six of the last ten seasons; finishing third four times.
LANCE MCGREW - - In 1999, McGrew joined Hendrick Motorsports as a crew member of the #24 Nationwide Series team with driver Jeff Gordon, and it wasn’t long before McGrew became a crew chief within the organization. McGrew was named the Nationwide Series crew chief for the #24 Chevrolet, shared by Jeff Gordon and Ricky Hendrick during a limited schedule. Gordon captured the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2000, giving McGrew his first career win as a crew chief. McGrew and Ricky Hendrick developed a good relationship during the 2000 season, and the duo was paired up again – this time for a full season in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2001. In 2002, McGrew moved from the Truck Series to the Nationwide Series and became the crew chief for the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, which was to be driven by Hendrick. After only three years of experience as a crew chief, McGrew led Brian Vickers and the #5 Hendrick Motorsports team to win the 2003 Nationwide Series championship. The title was the first-ever in the Nationwide Series for Hendrick Motorsports. The #5 team finished the season with three wins, one pole position. McGrew’s Nationwide Series success as crew chief continued in 2004 with Kyle Busch, who drove the #5 Chevy full-time for Hendrick Motorsports. The team ended the season with five wins, five poles. At the end of the 2004 season, McGrew was named crew chief of the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, and was once again paired up with Vickers in
the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. McGrew, then a rookie in the Cup scene, helped lead the #25 Hendrick Motorsports team to its best season since 2001. In 2006, McGrew and the #25 team improved on their previous Cup season by recording a 15th-place finish in the championship standings with one win, one pole, five top-five finishes and nine top-10s. In 2007, McGrew transitioned into a new role at Hendrick Motorsports. McGrew became the crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports research and development team, which played a major role in the organization’s development of its Impala SS. McGrew continued this role in 2008. Later in the 2008 season, McGrew once again played the crew chief role. This time it was for the young, up-and-coming driver Brad Keselowski, who made his first two career Sprint Cup Series starts in the #25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. On May 28, 2009, it was announce he would replace Tony Eury, Jr. as crew chief on an interim basis for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. beginning at the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway, On October 30, 2009, McGrew was selected as Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s full-time crew chief for the 2010 season. In 2011 McGrew transitioned to the #5 car to be Mark Martins crew chief. The two posted two top five finishes. In 2012 McGrew moved to the K&N series to be crew chief for up and coming Chase Elliott (son of Sprint Cup Champion Bill Elliott. The duo won a race, and Elliott finished fourth in point. In 2013 Elliott raced part time in the Camping World Truck series with McGrew at the helm. They ran nine events, won one race, posted five top fives, and seven top ten finishes. Elliott will run full time in the Nationwide series in 2014, but no word on McGrew's role.
LARRY MCREYNOLDS - - Larry's NASCAR career began in 1975. He worked his way up the ladder and took his first crew chief job in 1985. His first win as a crew chief was in 1988 at Watkins Glen with Ricky Rudd as the driver. He won on a road course again in 1989, and with Brett Bodine at North Wilkesboro in 1990. IN 1991 McReynolds paired up with Davey Allison. The combination in 1991 of Larry, Robert Yates and driver Allison was pure magic! From 1991-1993 they brought home 11 wins and 3 pole positions. They won The Winston All-Star race back-to-back in 1991 & 1992. As crew chief, Larry won his first Daytona 500 in 1992 with Davey behind the wheel of the famous #28 Texaco Ford. Allison was killed in a tragic helicopter accident in July, and Yates finished out the season with various drivers. McReynolds paired with Ernie Irvin two win two races before the end of that season. The duo stayed together in 1994 and posted three wins and 15 top five finishes in the first 20 races. But tragedy would strike once again as Irvan suffered severe injuries in
practice at Michigan. Kenny Wallace would finish out the season. In 1995 McReynolds paired with Dale Jarrett, and they won once in 1995. Recovered from his injuries, Irvin returned to Yates with McReynolds once again at the helm. They won two events in 1996. In 1997 McReynolds moved to Richard Childress Racing to lead Dale Earnhardt Sr. 1998 started out with McReyolds leading Earnhardt, and they won the Daytona 500. But after 13 events, Childress swapped McReynolds with Kevin Hamlin as McReynolds would lead Mike Skinner's team. He would finish out his career with Skinner in 2000. In 2001 he ventured into the Fox Sports broadcast booth with Mike Joy and three time Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip. Thirteen years later, Larry finds great joy as Race Analyst for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races with FOX Sports during the first half of the race season. For his career as a crew chief McReynolds garnered 23 wins, The Coke 600, and two Daytona 500's. His final win coming in the 1998 race with Earnhardt Sr.
MICHAEL 'FATBACK' MCSWAIN - - McSwain started as a CUP crew chief in 1997 for owner Richard Jackers and driver Morgan Shepherd. They started well with a tenth place finish in the second race of the season; and would finish third in the season fourth race at Atlanta. However the team these had a series of 20th and worse place finishes, and several DNQ's. In 1998 McSwain went to work for owner Doug Bawel and his driver Robert Pressley; but the duo only produced one top ten finish. 1999 McSwain got a fresh start with new owner Cale Yarborough, and his driver Rick Mast. They only posted one top ten finish, and after ten events McSwain was replaced by Jerry Pitts. Michael then went to work for owner/driver Ricky Rudd. Victory eluded them that season. In 2000 Rudd moved to just a drivers position as he drove for Roberts Yates Racing,
McSwain followed him as his crew chief. Once again they didn't find victory lane. Together they found vistory lane twice in 2001; and finished fourth in the points (McSwain's best ever). McSwain led Rudd to another win again in 2002, but the pair split up with three races left in the season, and moved to Joe Gibbs Racing to head up Bobby Labonte's team. 2003 saw Labonte win two races and finish eighth in points. after 18 races in 2004 McSwain was let go from Joe Gibbs, and he returned to being crew chief for Ricky Rudd who was now driving for the Wood Brothers. The pairing produced just five top five finishes in a disappointing season where Rudd finished 21st in points. The Wood Brother made wholesale changes in 2006 as they replaced driver Rudd with Ken Schrader, and McSwain was replaced by David Hyder. After 20 races schrader had 13 finishes of 20th or worse, and the Wood Brothers brough back McSwain to finish the season. Their results proved no better as Schrader had nine finished of 20th or worse in the final 16 races. 2007 saw the Wood Brothers only run part time and used three different drivers. During this time they also used three different crew chiefs; with no driver posting a top ten finish in 18 starts. For his career McSwain posted five wins (three with Rudd, and two with Labonte). He finished in the top five in points twice (both with Rudd). His pairing with Rudd and Labonte proved to be fairly successful because both drivers were low key and laid back; where McSwain was know to be fiery and short tempered. When McSwain was fired from Joe Gibbs Racing, he use to wear the hat of the opposing NFL team that the Redskins played each week, when Gibbs went back coaching.
GARY NELSON - 6/5/1953 - Nelson started in the racing business cleaning up the shop for San Bernardino, California driver Ivan Baldwin. Later became a crew chief for Darrell Waltrip, and the team won at Nelson's first race in Darlington in 1977. Nelson moved into a crew Chiefs position in 1981 working with driver Ricky Rudd and DiGard Racing. The two didn't win a race but finished in the top five 14 times; and sixth in the points. Bobby Allison replaced Rudd in 1982 at DiGard. The duo teamed up to win eight races that season, and finished second in the CUP championship. 1983 and 1984 was also productive. Allison won six more races, and the CUP Championship. Nelson moved to Rick Hendrick Racing in 1985 to head up Geoff Bodines race efforts. They didn't win a race, but finished consistent enough to finish fifth in points. also in 1985 Nelson led Greg Sacks to a win at Daytona in the 400 mile event. Sacks effort was a one-off deal to
use his car as a research and development car for DiGard. The car was so good Sacks took the win. Nelson continured to be combined with Bodine through the 1987 season. Over that span they claimed two more wins. He was hired as a broadcaster for ESPN during the 1988 season. In 1990 Nelson left Hendrick and moved to Felix Sabates Racing to head up driver Kyle Petty. Petty had one win and 14 top tens. Nelson finished out his crew chief career working for Sabates; but in 1991 Sabates had four different drivers. Petty ran 18 of those events, with one win. Other drivers were Kenny Wallace, Bobby Hillon, and Tommy Kendall. Nelson was know to be one of the most "innovative" crew chiefs; Having a history of stretching rules, Nelson was hired as chief enforcer for NASCAR in 1992. Seemed the thinking by NASCAR was - "if you want to catch the cheaters, hire one of the best." He has held several roles in the organization. He was the NASCAR Sprint Cup series director, Vice President of Competition, and Vice President of Research and Development. For his crew chief career, Nelson posted 21 wins. His most successful days came with Bobby Allison when he had 16 wins. Most notable wins included Daytona 500 (1980); Southern 500 (1983); World 600 (1984) all with Allison. Also he won the Daytona 500 again in 1986 with Geoff Bodine.
CHAD NORRIS - - Norris started out as a crew chief in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and has done the majority of his work there. He was a Nationwide crew chief from 2005-2013 heading up a team for 11 different drivers. In 2005 he led Matt Kenseth to a win at Darlington; Marcus Ambrose to a win in 2011, and Trevor Bayne to victory lane, also in 2011. In 2013 he was the full time crew chief for Travis Pastrana. Pastrana ran competitive in the races, but had several crashes as he tried to get the feel for the heavy stock cars. Almost all of Norris' career has been as crew chief for Jack Roush drivers. IN 2012 Norris made his debute as a CUP crew chief when Bob Osborne announced his was stepping down for health reasons. He completed the 2012 season leading the team of Carl Edwards. The pair posted only one top five, and Edwards missed the Chase.
BOB OSBORNE - 6/5/1974 - It wasn't until late in his junior year of college at Penn State University that Osborne got the itch to go racing. For six months after he graduated, Osborne spent day and night knocking on doors trying to land a job with a NASCAR team. Finally in January 1998, Osborne was given the opportunity to work for the No. 96 Sprint Cup team as the tire specialist. Osborne worked for the team for one year, never relying on his engineering degree but knowing that his time and patience would eventually pay off. At the end of the 1998 season the No. 96 team closed its doors and Osborne went on to work for owner Jack Roush, at then Roush Racing, where he's been working his way up the ladder ever since. Osborne started out as a general R&D data acquisition engineer where he worked at the shop traveling only to tests for the first two years of his Roush Racing career. After two years, Roush Racing decided to employ an engineer with each Cup team. Osborne was assigned to the No. 6 Valvoline team driven by Mark Martin where he spent the following two years as the team engineer traveling to each race and becoming the right-hand man to the crew chief. All of Osborne's experience with the No. 6 team lead to him getting promoted to crew chief of the No. 99. Osborne's first race as crew chief came during the spring Darlington race in 2004 with veteran driver Jeff Burton. In the following 31 races. Although both were rookies, the team never missed a beat and Osborne coached Edwards to a 10th-place finish in his first career Cup start at Michigan. Osborne and Edwards picked up in 2005 where they left off in 2004, breaking into the win column in just the
fourth race of the year in Atlanta. The team would go on to post three more wins, taking checkered flags at Pocono, repeating at Atlanta and winning the inaugural night race at Texas Motor Speedway. The duo also gave the competition a run for their money in the Chase finishing third in the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series points standings. Osborne’s team entered the 2006 season as championship favorites but got off to a slow start. In April, owner Jack Roush made the decision to move Osborne to the No. 26 Crown Royal/Irwin Tools Ford driven by Jamie McMurray. The move was in an effort to strengthen the overall racing operations. By the second Phoenix race in November, Osborne was back with Edwards and the No. 99 team and looking ahead to 2007. In 2007 Osborne’s No. 99 team remained inside the top 12 in point standings for 31 of 36 weeks. Led by Osborne, Edwards also broke a 52-race win less streak at Michigan International Speedway. Osborne led Edward and the No. 99 team to two more victories in 2007 at Bristol and Dover in the newly introduced Car of Tomorrow. Osborne and Edwards kicked off the 2008 season by taking home the checkered flag in two of the first three races, and continued their winning ways throughout the season. The duo paired to record the most wins. Their quest for the championship came up just short, finishing just 69 points behind champion Jimmie Johnson. In 2009, Edwards entered the season as one of the teams to beat. In a disappointment, Edwards and Osborne did not win a race for the second time in a season together making the chase but finishing 11th in points. The 2010 season wasn't much different than 2009 although the team managed to win the final two races of the year at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami finishing the season with huge momentum and finishing 4th in the chase standings. The No. 99 team got another win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as well as the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race XXVII. Although having the most top 5's, top 10's, and best average finish than anyone else in 2011, the team fell short again in the championship to surging Tony Stewart, who won five of the ten chase races that year. Although in a virtual tie in the points, Stewart owned the tie-breaker with more wins giving him the title. On July 17, 2012, Osborne announced he would step down as crew chief from the No. 99 team, citing "health reasons" as his concern. At the time, Edwards was running 11th in the Sprint Cup points. It was announced that Chad Norris would take over as crew chief for Edwards. For his career, Osborne posted 18 wins, all with Edwards; and led Edwards to the top four in points in four seasons.
All Photos copyright and are property of their respective owners