Veteran engineer and chassis specialist Rex Stump joins Stewart-Haas Racing as Technical Director

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Veteran engineer, chassis and design and research and development specialist Rex Stump will assume a role as the new technical director at Stewart-Haas Racing, the company announced Wednesday.

Stump comes to SHR after an 18-year tenure with Hendrick Motorsports, where he founded the organization’s R&D program and has been key in chassis design and technology.

“Rex brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and innovation to Stewart-Haas Racing,” SHR vice president of competition Greg Zipadelli said. “You can never sit still in this business, and Rex’s record of success will help us stay ahead of the curve.”

SHR, which captured the 2014 Sprint Cup championship with driver Kevin Harvick this past Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, is an affiliate of HMS, purchasing or leasing a variety of components including chassis and motors.

Stump begins his new role effective immediately, the team announced.

“Hendrick Motorsports provided me a lot of opportunities to succeed and I wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for Rick Hendrick, Ray Evernham and all the talented people I’ve worked with the last 18 years,” Stump said in a SHR media release. “I’m proud of my time there, but I’m looking forward to my new role at Stewart-Haas.

“This is a team that’s accomplished a lot in a very short period of time. There’s a championship to defend and races to win. I’m ready to go.”

Stewart-Haas formed in 2009 – evolving from the former Haas/CNC Racing organization. SHR has now won two of the last four Sprint Cup titles (2011 with Tony Stewart and 2014 with Harvick).

Stump has bachelor degrees in both mechanical and automotive engineering, as well as a master’s degree in structural analysis. He began his career working for General Motors in 1990, including serving on the team that developed the noted C5 active suspension for the Chevrolet Corvette.

He joined Team Penske as a race engineer in 1991, helping transform future NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace from two wins in 1991 to 10 wins in 1993.

Stump returned to GM in 1993 to continue work on the C5. He then joined Hendrick Motorsports in early 1996 and remained there until his move to SHR.

Among Stump’s accomplishments at HMS were the design of Jeff Gordon’s radical Tyrannosaurus Rex (“T-Rex) race-winning car for the 1997 NASCAR All-Star Race.

According to the SHR media release, “While the car conformed to NASCAR’s rulebook, the design was so advanced that NASCAR requested the team never bring it to the racetrack again. The sanctioning body amended its rulebook shortly thereafter.”

Stump would continue building cars that led Gordon to Winston Cup championships in 1997, 1998 and 2001.

He also shepherded HMS’s Car of Tomorrow program in 2006, with the company winning the first five COT races ever held. He also played a pivotal part in the construction of cars for Jimmie Johnson’s five-straight Sprint Cup titles from 2006 through 2010, as well as Stewart’s championship-winning chassis in 2011.

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Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.