Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola will have new crew chiefs for their respective Stewart-Haas Racing teams in 2018.
SHR on Friday announced that Billy Scott, who originally served as crew chief for Danica Patrick, will return to that role in 2018 for Busch, who recently agreed to a one-year contract to return to the No. 41 Ford team next season.
Tony Gibson, who has served as crew chief for the No. 41 since November 2014, will remain at SHR in a yet-unnamed capacity.
John Klausmeier, a race engineer with SHR since 2009, has been promoted to crew chief for Almirola and the No. 10 Ford team.
Klausmeier comes to the job with a victory already as a crew chief. He served as the interim crew chief for the No. 41 in June 2016 at Pocono which Busch won after leading the final 32 laps.
Rodney Childers and Mike Bugarewicz remain as crew chiefs for Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, respectively.
“We wanted to maximize our strengths and address the areas where we needed to improve, and we feel this lineup gives us our best chance to succeed every time we bring our Ford Fusions to the race track,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR.
“This is a very technical sport, but it’s the people who make it go, and we’ve got some of the best people in the business.”
Team co-owner Tony Stewart said he believed the organization was in a “really good place” with each of its Cup teams.
“We have some of the finest talent in the industry and we’re confident in the leadership of each of our teams as we pursue wins and a championship in 2018,” he said.
“Obviously, we’re very happy to have Kurt Busch back with SHR and I’m proud to have Aric Almirola as a part of our race team. He’s someone I’ve always been impressed with since we were teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing, and John Klausmeier is more than ready to be his crew chief.”