MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Michael McSwain, crew chief for the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford driven by Ricky Rudd, has achieved something very rare in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing. McSwain has had no turnover of employees from last season to ...
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Michael McSwain, crew chief for the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford driven by Ricky Rudd, has achieved something very rare in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing. McSwain has had no turnover of employees from last season to this.
"I don't think anyone realizes what happens when you loose a valuable employee," said McSwain. "You obviously loose his skills and abilities, but it also takes at least a month to get a new person up to speed. It's not only knowing what's involved with the job, but also learning how we do things here. Turnover can really put a team behind."
Year-end turnover is common among race teams and has become a big challenge for crew chiefs. People are a core ingredient for success, and to maintain a strong crew is critical in this very competitive time.
"Here's a good example of how the lack of turnover helps us," said McSwain. "Our Daytona cars are ready. We have two cars ready for Rockingham and two cars in Las Vegas for a test session. We have two cars sitting here waiting for an Atlanta test after Daytona. We have one car ready and are building a second for a Bristol test in early March. We have a Richmond test in April and those two cars are sitting here ready to go.
"Keeping a team together allows us to work forward and think forward. McSwain knows that the top teams all have solid funding and technology advantages are rare. With each team having similar equipment and budgets, people make the difference. Teams that compete for the Winston Cup Championship generally have very little turnover.
"We finished last season as one of the better teams," said McSwain. "We've been able to continue to improve through the break. We have good people in every position and it's very important to me to keep them."
Ricky Rudd, a former team owner, appreciates the efforts McSwain and Robert Yates have put into keeping the team together.
"I don't recall ever having 100 percent of the same people from one year to the next," said Rudd. "We worked hard with my team to hang onto some core people, but for everyone to stay says a lot about Robert Yates and how Michael is managing our team.
"At the end of last year, we had one of the best teams in Winston Cup racing. It's nice going into this season knowing that we have everyone back. People are what this is all about and when you can attract and keep good people it should give us some very good results."