Crew chiefs officially named for 2014 season
· Greg Zipadelli has been named vice president of competition where he will manage all four Sprint Cup teams, with each crew chief reporting to him.
· Matt Borland has been named vice president of engineering. In this role, Borland will oversee all of the team’s technical initiatives and various research and development projects. He will also transition from being an active crew chief to that of a mentor, specifically in regard to the crew chief position on the No. 41 Haas Automation team of driver Kurt Busch.
· Daniel Knost has been promoted from race engineer on the No. 39 team to crew chief for the No. 41 Haas Automation team with Busch. Knost joined SHR in 2008 when it was Haas-CNC Racing after earning master of science and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Knost graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 2001.
In his six-year tenure with SHR, Knost has run the team’s seven-post shaker rig and assisted with at-track simulation support from 2008 through 2011. He became the race engineer for SHR’s No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet and driver Danica Patrick for eight races during its limited schedule in 2012 before moving to the No. 39 team in the same role.
· Chad Johnston has been named crew chief for the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 team of three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. Johnston comes to SHR from Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) where since June 2011 he was the crew chief for the No. 56 team and driver Martin Truex Jr. Johnston joined MWR in 2010 as a race engineer. Johnston replaces Steve Addington, who has left SHR to pursue other opportunities.
Like Stewart, Johnston is an Indiana native. The two have worked together previously, as Johnston was the race engineer for the Morgan-Dollar Motorsports NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team in 2004-2005 where Stewart competed in three races, scoring two top-three finishes.
Johnston graduated from Indiana State University in 2003 with a mechanical engineering degree.
· Rodney Childers will be the crew chief for the No. 4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team of driver Kevin Harvick. Childers joined SHR in late October from MWR, where since 2009 he was a crew chief, first with the No. 00 team of driver David Reutimann (2009-2011) and later with the No. 55 team of drivers Brian Vickers, Mark Martin and Waltrip (2012-2013). Childers has been a crew chief since June 2005 when he was at MB2/MBV Motorsports with driver Scott Riggs.
· Tony Gibson remains as crew chief for the No. 10 GoDaddy team of Patrick.
“Our greatest asset at Stewart-Haas Racing is our people,” said Stewart, co-owner of SHR with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. “Obviously, there is a lot of change happening for 2014 as we grow to four teams and bring in Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. But with our new management structure and the crew chiefs we have in place, we’re well positioned to handle whatever challenges come our way. Collectively, we have the experience and wherewithal necessary for each of our teams to perform at the highest level possible.”
“In Haas Automation, we built the largest, most modern machine tool manufacturing operation in the United States. And the company’s philosophy of Bigger, Better, Faster, Lighter is also employed by Stewart-Haas Racing,” Haas said. “Bigger, Better, Faster, Lighter is what we strive for in the machining industry and it’s what we strive for in motorsports. This reorganization seamlessly marries our engineering expertise with our collective racing experience.”