Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick will swap crews at Stewart-Haas (UPDATED)


The crews, they-are-a-changin’.

OK, so that’s a one-word spinoff of the Bob Dylan classic, but the theme is the same: Stewart-Haas Racing is once again set to switch up its crews.

An initial report from Jim Utter of the Charlotte Observer Tuesday night indicated that the No. 41 crew currently working with Kurt Busch will switch to the No. 10 driven by Danica Patrick. Daniel Knost (No. 41) and Tony Gibson (No. 10) have been the crew chiefs for Busch and Patrick this year.

Utter indicated the switch will occur after Martinsville this weekend – a track where Busch won with Knost in the spring and where Patrick has had some of her best non-restrictor plate races in her Sprint Cup career.

Gibson announced a contract extension with SHR this past weekend and while it would be anticipated he’d continue with Patrick, this planned crew change could mean a shift across to work with Busch, instead.

Meanwhile just prior to the Chase, Stewart-Haas made a crew swap of the No. 4 and No. 14 teams, as well. However Rodney Childers (No. 4, Kevin Harvick) and Chad Johnston (No. 14, Tony Stewart) remained in place on top of the box as respective crew chiefs.

UPDATE, 2:45 p.m. ET: Houston – or Dallas/Ft. Worth in this case since this is where the change will occur – we have official confirmation from SHR of the team’s crew shift plans.

Gibson will serve as Busch’s crew chief in 2015 while Knost will serve as Patrick’s interim crew chief for the remaining four races of 2014, and “potentially” will serve as her full-time one in 2015.

The road crews assembled by each crew chief will also make the swap. However, the pit crews for each respective team will not be moved.

“We made this change to evaluate our program and to get a head start on 2015,” Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, Stewart-Haas Racing, said in a team release. “With the ban on testing next year, the last three races of this season take on even greater importance. For Tony Gibson and Kurt, they’ll get three races together that will provide direction for next year. And for Daniel Knost and Danica, this is an opportunity for them develop a rapport that could potentially continue into 2015.”

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”