Johnston Named Stewart's Crew Chief

Chad Johnston

Johnston comes to SHR from Michael Waltrip Racing where since June 2011 he was the crew chief for the No. 56 team and driver Martin Truex Jr. (Photo: Getty Images)


Chad Johnston has been hired to be Tony Stewart’s crew chief, Stewart-Haas Racing announced.

That’s one of a few announcements the team made Tuesday, including the promotion of engineer Daniel Knost to be Kurt Busch’s crew chief next season.

The 33-year-old Johnston becomes the third crew chief Stewart has had since 2011. Stewart won the championship with Darian Grubb in 2011 before replacing him with Steve Addington.

In the past two seasons with Addington, Stewart won four races and had 24 top-10 finishes in 57 starts. Stewart’s season this year ended after 21 races because of an injury suffered in a sprint car crash in August.

Johnston joined Michael Waltrip Racing in 2010 as an engineer and became Martin Truex Jr.’s crew chief heading into the 18th race of the 2011 season. He remained there through this season and became available when NAPA announced it would not return and MWR would cut back to two full-time teams for next year.

Knost will work with Busch on the No. 41 team. Knost has been with Stewart-Haas Racing since 2008. He was the race engineer for Ryan Newman’s team this season.

The team also promoted Greg Zipadelli to vice president of competition. He’ll manage the organization’s four Sprint Cup teams. Each crew chief will report to him.

Matt Borland, who was Newman’s crew chief this season, will be the vice president of engineering. He will oversee the of the team’s technical initiatives and research and development projects.

Tony Gibson will remain Danica Patrick’s crew chief, and Rodney Childers will be Kevin Harvick’s crew chief next season.

“Our greatest asset at Stewart-Haas Racing is our people,” said Stewart, co-owner of SHR with Gene Haas, in a statement from the team.

“Obviously, there is a lot of change happening for 2014 as we grow to four teams and bring in Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. But with our new management structure and the crew chiefs we have in place, we’re well positioned to handle whatever challenges come our way. Collectively, we have the experience and wherewithal necessary for each of our teams to perform at the highest level possible.” 

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