Tony Stewart will have a new crew chief when he returns to the Sprint Cup Series.
Chad Johnston, formerly the crew chief for Martin Truex Jr. at Michael Waltrip Racing, will become Stewart's crew chief for the 2014 season. He's replacing Steve Addington, who has served as Stewart's crew chief for the past two seasons after being atop the pit box for Kyle and Kurt Busch.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to be put with someone like Tony Stewart who is a proven winner, a proven champion,” Johnston said. “Obviously, the expectations are high so I’m looking forward to prove what I can do and prove that I deserve this position.”
Johnston was available given the circumstances surrounding Michael Waltrip Racing. With the departure of sponsor NAPA after the boondoggle that was Richmond, MWR was forced to downsize to two full-time cars for 2014 for Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers. Truex announced at Texas that he was heading to Furniture Row Racing.
Johnston became the crew chief for Truex in the middle of 2011. He's also the second former Michael Waltrip Racing crew chief to move to Stewart-Haas Racing. Earlier in 2013, Rodney Childers parted ways with the team and will pair with Kevin Harvick next season at SHR.
The pairing of Danica Patrick and Tony Gibson is expected to be unchanged at SHR and no crew chief has been announced for Kurt Busch. Stewart is expected to return from the broken leg he suffered in a sprint car crash in August in time for full participation in Daytona's Speedweeks.
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