FORT WORTH, Texas — Changes are taking place this weekend and next year at JTG Daugherty Racing.
Ernie Cope, JTG’s competition director, confirmed to NBC Sports Friday that Chris Buescher’s car has a Hendrick Motorsports engine this weekend.
The organization uses Earnhardt Childress Racing engines — AJ Allmendinger’s car has an ECR engine in its car this weekend — but will switch to Hendrick engines next year.
The team will have a Hendrick engine in its car only this weekend before switching over next season, Cope said.
“The reason we did it is just because the wiring and everything is different,” Cope told NBC Sports of getting acclimated to the differences with the Hendrick engines. “We just didn’t want to go into Atlanta (next year) not knowing … it was worth doing. We found a lot of little things that we needed to get. It was definitely worthwhile doing. Now we’re going to go into the winter time fix all the little bugs instead of next spring.”
Also, Cope confirmed to NBC Sports the team’s driver-crew chief pairings for next year.
Trent Owens will go back to the No. 37 team and be Buescher’s crew chief next season. Tristan Smith will be rookie Ryan Preece’s crew chief next year.
“We’re basically putting Chris’ team back together,” Cope said.