MWR swaps crew chiefs for Bowyer and Ragan as teams slump
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Michael Waltrip Racing , seeking a solution for its season-long slump, swapped crew chiefs for Clint Bowyer and David Ragan on Tuesday.
Brian Pattie had been with Bowyer since the team was formed in 2012, but he will now move to Ragan’s car. Billy Scott had been crew chief for the No. 55 Toyota since late 2013, but he will now crew chief Bowyer.
MWR also said Tuesday it is reorganizing support engineers for its two cars. The car chiefs, road mechanics and pit crews were not changed.
“Our goal is to best position the 15 and 55 teams for a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup,” said co-owner Rob Kauffman. “MWR has an enormous amount of bright, motivated and quality people working to solve the endless challenges inherent to racing. We have won poles and races, we have made the Chase and competed for a championship with this core group of personnel. We just felt it was time to shake things up a bit to try and spark fresh ideas and more consistent results.”
Bowyer is 17th in the standings and could still make the 16-driver Chase field, but he isn’t particularly running well enough to be a legitimate contender. He has led just two laps all year, has only three top-10 finishes and is winless since 2012.
Ragan has only been with the team for four races. He is the replacement driver for Brian Vickers, who is sidelined with blood clots and not likely to return this year.
Ragan’s best finish with MWR was 13th at Dover. He’s 24th in the standings, but MWR is the third team he’s driven for this year. Ragan was also the injury replacement for Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing for nine races.