New crew chief for Travis Kvapil at Daytona; Mike Ford takes different role

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Travis Kvapil will be hearing a new voice in his head during Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

Kvapil, driver of the No. 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry, will have a new crew chief atop the it box in the race, one of BK Racing’s team engineers, Dale Ferguson, the team announced Wednesday.

The move is considered temporary, as Ferguson is being tabbed as an “interim” crew chief. Whether he’ll call the pit strategy for Kvapil just for Saturday’s race or more remains to be seen.

Ferguson joined the team as head engineer at the beginning of this season after several years working for Rusty Wallace Inc.

Kvapil’s now-former crew chief Mike Ford, formerly crew chief for Denny Hamlin at Joe Gibbs Racing, will remain with BK Racing as the team’s director of competition.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”