Michael Waltrip Racing announced today the promotion of Chad Johnston from lead engineer to crew chief of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr. Johnston’s new role is effective immediately as the team prepares for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.
Johnston joined the No. 56 team midway through last season and was instrumental in setting up the NAPA Toyota for the two-time Nationwide Series champion. The 31-year-old native of Cayuga, Ind., entered NASCAR in 2004 and has worked with drivers Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Elliott Sadler, Scott Riggs and Dennis Setzer.
Pat Tryson has been redeployed within Michael Waltrip Racing.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. ON CHAD JOHNSTON: “Chad’s been a great addition to the NAPA team ever since he joined us last season. He jumped in and really helped with the preparation of our cars. He’s shown a lot of leadership in his position and has shown me he really understands a race car. He also understands all of the tools at his disposal here at Michael Waltrip Racing since he’s an engineer. His personality and mine mesh really well. We get along great and he really understands what I am saying. He is extremely good at pulling more information from me to get the answers to questions he has when setting up the car. The communication between he and I is impressive and we just click. I’m looking forward to what all we can accomplish together as a team.”
CHAD JOHNSTON ON HIS NEW ASSIGNMENT: “This is a good opportunity for me since this is the direction I have always wanted to go in my NASCAR career. Michael Waltrip Racing is a good organization to work with as we have assembled a strong NAPA Racing team and a more-than-capable driver. My goal is the same goal that this team set at the start of 2011 and that goal is to win races and try to get in the top 10 in points.”