Michael Waltrip Racing switches driver-crew chief pairings

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Michael Waltrip Racing announced Tuesday that it has reassigned its crew chiefs and reorganized its engineering group.

Effective immediately, Brian Pattie, who had been with Clint Bowyer, will become David Ragan’s crew chief. Billy Scott, who had been Ragan’s crew chief, will become Bowyer’s crew chief.

The team also is reorganizing its lead, secondary and support engineers for each team. Car chiefs, mechanics and pit crews will remain will not switch teams.

The moves come as both cars struggle. Bowyer is 17th in the points standings. He has three top-10 finishes in 14 races this season. He’s finished 20th or worse in nine races. The No. 55 car with Ragan has had multiple drivers this season with Brian Vickers out because of blood clots.

“Our goal is to best position the 15 and 55 teams for a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup,” said co-owner Rob Kauffman said in a statement from the team. “MWR has an enormous amount of bright, motivated and quality people working to solve the endless challenges inherent to racing. We have won poles and races, we have made the Chase and competed for a championship with this core group of personnel. We just felt it was time to shake things up a bit to try and spark fresh ideas and more consistent results. There are 12 races left before the 2015 Chase field is set and we plan to be a part of it.”