Burns Named No. 47 Crew Chief
December 11, 2012 | 9:10 A.M. EST
Burns was at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday to lead the team in testing for the 2013 car. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)
“Anytime we have needed Brian to step into a crew chief role and lead our team, he has risen to the challenge,” co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “He has done a solid job for us and we’re pleased he accepted the position to guide our team in 2013.”
With Burns and the addition of general manager Bobby Hutchens, the team made forward progress and turned in some respectable finishes. Now, Burns is ready to build on the foundation he already has in place.
“I’m looking forward to this season and working with Bobby again,” Burns said. “The 2013 car may have leveled the playing field with all the changes and I feel like we will be able to turn some heads. We have some good things on the horizon and we are adding more engineering support. We are also staffing up to have extra support at the shop and track. Our team owners are providing us with the tools we need to get to the next level.”
Burns, who received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering technology from Purdue University (Indianapolis), has been in the sport for over a decade. The first role in racing for Burns was race engineer from 2003 to 2009 with Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. His first crew chief role came at Front Row Motorsports with driver Travis Kvapil beginning in June 2010 for the remainder of the season and was a lead engineer before stepping up.
The Indiana native then moved over to Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) at the beginning of the 2011 season as a race engineer. He was assigned to JTG Daugherty Racing to produce and analyze fully dynamic simulation results, coordinate all geometry setup changes along with a laundry list of other responsibilities.
Near the end of the season, he served as interim crew chief for Labonte in the final six events and then moved to the Harrisburg, N.C. shop at the beginning of 2012. Midseason Burns was at the helm again when crew chief and general manager Todd Berrier parted ways with the team.
Burns, whose best finish with Labonte during the 2012 season was ninth at Martinsville Speedway, has paid his dues to earn the full-time position as Labonte’s crew chief.
“Brian is very smart and has done a really good job for JTG Daugherty Racing,” said 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte. “We’re looking forward to working together again next season and building on the foundation we have in place.”
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