Stewart-Haas Racing has announced new appointments in preparation for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, including new crew chiefs for the cars of Danica Patrick and team co-owner/driver Tony Stewart. The pair finished 24th and 28th, respectively, in this season’s Sprint Cup points.
Michael Bugarewicz has been promoted from race engineer to crew chief for the No. 14 team of driver Tony Stewart, while former Michael Waltrip Racing crew chief Billy Scott was officially introduced as crew chief for the No. 10 ride of Danica Patrick. Scott replaces Daniel Knost, who has been named the team’s manager of vehicle dynamics.
Meanwhile, Rodney Childers will return as crew chief for Kevin Harvick and Tony Gibson will stay on as crew chief for Kurt Busch.
Patrick finished 24th and Stewart 28th in the 2015 Sprint Cup Series standings. Harvick, who finished second, and Busch (eighth) both made the Chase.
“We have great people at Stewart-Haas Racing and these changes prove that,” said Stewart, co-owner of SHR with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. “We were able to promote from within while also adding new talent.
Bugarewicz , 33, replaces Chad Johnston, who has left SHR to pursue a new opportunity. Bugarewicz joined SHR in 2014 where in his role as race engineer, he helped Harvick secure his first Sprint Cup championship. Bugarewicz began his NASCAR career in 2005 at Roush-Fenway Racing in the engineering department, assisting a variety of teams as a race engineer in the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Sprint Cup Series.
Before coming to SHR, Bugarewicz was the race engineer on Roush-Fenway’s No. 17 team, where he worked with Matt Kenseth (2011-2012) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2013). Bugarewicz graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering (2004) and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering (2005).
Scott, 38, was a crew chief for MWR since 2014 and was the crew chief for the No. 55 MWR team, which featured drivers David Ragan, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip, among others. He also served as crew chief for MWR’s No. 15 team and driver Clint Bowyer from June 2015 through the end of the season.
Scott came to MWR in 2008 after working in a variety of racing disciplines, including NASCAR, sports cars and sprint cars. It was during his work in the Truck Series in 2003 when Scott decided to focus on engineering. He attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 2005.
As manager of vehicle dynamics, Knost, 36, will oversee a number of the organization’s technical efforts, with a specific focus on track simulation and race car performance. He had been a crew chief at SHR for two years, spending 2014 with the No. 41 team of Kurt Busch and 2015 with the No. 10 team of Patrick.
Sportact Editors and Wire Services