Mccauley To Miss Phoenix
April 19, 2006 | 8:22 P.M. EST
McCauley experienced some mild chest pains and went to the hospital Monday for diagnostic tests. He successfully underwent minor surgery yesterday (Tuesday) to treat a small blockage.
"The procedure was 100 percent effective in alleviating the problem, but my doctor advised me to take it easy and spend this weekend relaxing at home," said McCauley, who will return to work - and Talladega - next week. "Knowing that I can't be in Phoenix, it's going to probably be the most difficult couple of days of my life and I'm sure we'll burn out about a dozen cell phones before the weekend is over," said McCauley with a chuckle. "We've been able to create a really tight-knit team with Kurt and all the guys on the No. 2 team, and I have full confidence that they'll do a job worthy of their caliber this weekend. Those guys are like family to me, and I wish I could be there to support them further."
McCauley, a 36-year-old University of Maryland engineering graduate, has made the successful transition from head engineer at Penske Racing South to the crew chief position. He served in that spot for Ryan Newman's NBS effort last season and helped lead the team to an amazing six victories - five consecutive - and four poles.
McCauley made the jump over to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series this year, leading the Miller Lite Dodge team of new Penske Racing driver Kurt Busch. The combination clicked from the very beginning, with the team claiming a victory in only their fifth race together - at Bristol, Tenn., on March 26.
With McCauley on the mend this weekend, Matt Gimbel, crew chief for Busch's Penske Truck Rental Dodge NBS team, is expected to fill in on the NEXTEL Cup side for Saturday's race. He will be working closely together with team engineer Derek Stamets and car chief Corey Tucker.