BUSCH: Phoenix: Riggs, Barnwell on crew chief departure

KEITH BARNWELL, Co-owner-ppc Racing WERE YOU SURPRISED WITH HAROLD HOLLY'S DEPARTURE THIS WEEK? "It was a little bit of a surprise, but Greg (Pollex) has always encouraged his guys, if they can further their career by making a different move,...

KEITH BARNWELL, Co-owner-ppc Racing

WERE YOU SURPRISED WITH HAROLD HOLLY'S DEPARTURE THIS WEEK? "It was a little bit of a surprise, but Greg (Pollex) has always encouraged his guys, if they can further their career by making a different move, they need to explore those options. This is something that Harold wants to do; he wants to go Winston Cup racing. From what I understand, he has several opportunities."

IF HE WAS PLANNING ON LEAVING BEFORE NEXT SEASON, IS IT BEST FOR BOTH PARTIES THAT THIS HAPPENS BEFORE THE END OF THE SEASON? "We hate to lose Harold; he is such a good guy. He's led this team for three years. He's led us to a championship and a lot of wins. It's a good time as far as we're not going to win the championship this year with the 10 team and you can start looking at planing for next year right now. For him, wherever he goes, it will give him a couple of weeks to get in and get his toolbox set up and get ready to work for someone else. It'd be different if it was the 57 car, where we still have a mathematical chance of winning the championship. The way it is now, it will work out OK, hopefully for everybody."

WITH HAROLD'S ROLE AS THE DIRECTOR OF RACING OPERATORS FOR PPC RACING AS WELL AS CREW CHIEF, WILL THERE BE A NEED FOR RESTRUCTURING THE ORGANIZATION IN THE OFF-SEASON? "I would be willing to say that right now, we will be keeping changes to a minimum. We've got two really good teams and we want to keep the team intact. We've got good veteran guys on the 10 team with Dan (Dittberner, team engineer) and Charles (Wright, car chief) and the rest of the guys. We're going to keep moving forward with the guys that we've got. We're not going to dismantle this team. I think that's always a concern when a crew chief leaves. We got everybody together and told them that this isn't the end of the 10 team, we're just going to plug somebody in and try to keep moving forward." WHO WILL BE MAKING THE CALLS THIS WEEKEND FOR QUALIFYING AND THE RACE? "Dan and Charles will be acting as co-crew chiefs for the lack of a better term. They'll run the practices and qualifying. We've actually had several Winston Cup guys step forward and offer their help if we need some help by stepping up on the box and calling the race, so we should be OK. We'll finish out the season that way and evaluate our options for a new crew chief after Homestead."



SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus

WERE YOU SURPRISED WITH HAROLD HOLLY'S DEPARTURE THIS WEEK? "I was pretty surprised. We had talked a lot before and I never thought that next year I wouldn't have Harold as a crew chief, much less the last two races of this year. But, after everything was said and done this week, I feel like it's a good opportunity for Harold and I can't blame him for taking that opportunity."

YOU'RE STILL A ROOKIE IN THE SERIES. HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE LAST TWO RACES WITHOUT A DESIGNATED CREW CHIEF? "It's going to be OK. The entire team talked before coming out here, and we all have some really good ideas of what we need to do these last two races and it's basically the same thing we've been doing all year. We just needed to sit and figure out what that was and how we continue it. We're going to be OK. We're going to be OK the last two races. We still plan to go out here and qualify well and run well all day."

WILL YOU HAVE INPUT ON YOUR CREW CHIEF FOR NEXT SEASON? "Just having the year of experience under my belt is going to be a big plus. I feel like I've learned a lot from Harold and hopefully I can continue to use those things I learned all next year and hope to have a good season. We've haven't really talked about next season yet, and everything sorta happened pretty quick, so the main thing we're concentrating right now is these last two races and then we'll sit down and figure out what we'll do after that."

DO YOU THINK THE CORE OF THIS TEAM WILL RETURN NEXT SEASON? "We have a great core of guys working on the Nesquik Ford. Like I said, we talked this week and I got a good feeling from that and they're motivated to finish out this season strong and improve next year. They want to keep doing what we've been doing this year and improve on that next year to prove that this team is a championship-caliber team."

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Series NASCAR XFINITY