CHANGES: Both Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart will be working with new crew chiefs in 2016. Scott is Patrick’s third crew chief since joining the Sprint Cup Series and Bugarewicz will be the last crew chief Stewart works with before retiring after this season. Bugarewicz previously served as the race engineer for Harvick’s team.
DID YOU KNOW: Stewart-Haas Racing is one of just two team (Joe Gibbs Racing) to field multiple Sprint Cup Champions. It’s the only team that has three champions (Stewart, Harvick and Kurt Busch). … All but one crew member on Kurt Busch’s No. 41 team returns this year. The one exception retired after 25 years on the road … Team co-owner Gene Haas said they would be “happy to accommodate” their F1 drivers if they want to try to race a stock car.
EXPECTATIONS: Stewart will look to recapture his glory days in some form in his last Sprint Cup season. Stewart has not won since 2013 … Harvick looks to keep his momentum up after finishing in the top two in points for two straight years.
WHAT THEY SAID: “I’m sure (Tony) will be haunting us in the background in someway (after retirement).” – team co-owner Gene Haas.
“Yeah it feels good, because I know this is my last Charlotte Media Day. Next year, I’ll sit here with gene for an hour and then we’ll get out of here together while these guys still have to work.” – Tony Stewart
“I want to tag along with Gene to Monaco to watch some F1 racing next year.” – Tony Stewart on the flexibility he’ll have in retirement.
“NASCAR was in agreement with it, Goodyear embraced it and the drivers. The teams had to go through a lot of expenditures to do that research and now we hope we’re going to bear the fruit of that labor and see a better result on track. Ultimately, that’s what we all want. We want to see side-by-side racing, passes for the lead and different tire developments that allow the car to go fast in the beginning and pay a penalty and wears tires out and drop off. We’re hoping we see a lot of that movement out on the track this year.” – Kurt Busch on the low-downforce package.