AVONDALE, Ariz. – Three of Stewart-Haas Racing’s four cars have new transmission brands this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway after Kevin Harvick’s woes with the clutch at Texas Motor Speedway.
Crew chief Rodney Childers said the No. 4 Chevrolet has switched to Jasper, which was the brand he used at Michael Waltrip Racing before joining SHR last season. The team of Kurt Busch, whose No. 41 remains in championship contention, also made a change, as did Tony Stewart‘s No. 14.
Harvick was forced to drive with one hand for the last 100 laps at Texas when his car kept popping out of gear. It was the second transmission problem in four races for Harvick, who also struggled with a balky clutch at Kansas Speedway last month.
“We’ve had a lot of issues, and it finally just come to a head,” Childers told NASCAR Talk before qualifying Friday. “Just happened too many times over the last two years. I decided we should do something different. We had a 50-50 shot of what we were running breaking, and we’ve got a 50-50 shot of putting something else in and breaking.”
Childers said SHR doesn’t have much input in its transmissions
“That’s what is so different about our deal compared to all the other big teams is we don’t control any of it,” he said. “It just comes in the shop, and we put it in, you know. (With) other teams, they at least control what they’re doing and go back there and look at it and say, ‘We ought to do this better or this better,’ but ours doesn’t work that way.”