Veteran pit crew coach Lance Munksgard leaves Hendrick Motorsports, NASCAR

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One of the most effective and successful pit crew coaches in the business has not only left Hendrick Motorsports, he’s also left NASCAR.

Lance Munksgard, who had served as coach for the pit crews of both Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. since November 2011, has relocated to Texas to work in a family member’s business, according to MRN.com.

Munksgard’s last race with HMS was two weeks ago at Darlington, where Earnhardt finished second and Johnson was third to race winner Kevin Harvick.

Greg Morin, Munksgard’s counterpart for the teams of Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon, and Chris Krieg, who had been Munksgard’s assistant, will oversee the pit crews of the No. 48 and 88 on an interim basis until a replacement for Munksgard can be hired.

According to PitTalks.com, Munksgard’s career began as a tire carrier in 2002 and became a full-time pit crew coach the following year. Among his stops prior to HMS were with Michael Waltrip Racing and the now-defunct Red Bull Racing.

During his career, Munksgard was a part of teams that won 19 Sprint Cup races, a Pit Crew Challenge championship, Daytona 500 wins in 2013 with Johnson and this year with Earnhardt, and was also a key member of Johnson’s sixth Cup championship team last season.

“I was blessed to have been able to live a dream of working with the best mechanics and pit crew members in NASCAR over the years, which was an unforgettable experience,” Munksgard told PitTalks.com. “I couldn’t have asked for a better organization than HMS to finish my NASCAR career.

“HMS is a truly professional company that starts from Mr. Hendrick down through the management, crew chiefs, and through the pit crews. It was a true pleasure to work with a strong coaching staff and pit crew members at HMS and watch them progress each week. I will truly miss the competition on pit road each week and wish all the guys on pit road the best of luck.”

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Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”