NASCAR AMERICA: Crew chief Alan Gustafson key to Jeff Gordon’s renaissance

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After the end of the 2010 Sprint Cup season, Hendrick Motorsports made some changes to their crew chief lineup. Among those changes was the installment of Alan Gustafson as CC for the No. 24 team of Jeff Gordon (Gordon’s previous CC, Steve Letarte, became the CC for Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the No. 88 team).

Since 2011, Gordon, Gustafson, and the No. 24 camp have endured through bouts of inconsistency. But starting from last year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, the group has been one of the strongest in the Cup garage.

This year, Gordon’s “Drive for Five” has received a major jolt with three victories, including one last weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

And while Gustafson may not get a lot of press compared to fellow HMS crew chiefs Letarte and Chad Knaus (Jimmie Johnson), it’s clear that he’s played a big role in Gordon’s renaissance.

-- Chris Estrada,