UPDATED: Daniel Knost will be Danica Patrick’s crew chief in 2015

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UPDATED (4:30 p.m. ET): Multiple reports have now confirmed that Daniel Knost, Danica Patrick’s ‘interim’ crew chief for the final three races of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, will be her full-time crew chief in 2015.

Bob Pockrass of The Sporting News and Dustin Long of Motor Racing Network are relaying word from Stewart-Haas Racing that Knost’s interim tag has indeed been shed.

Late last year, SHR opted to swap crew chiefs for Patrick and fellow driver Kurt Busch. Patrick’s former CC, Tony Gibson, was announced as Busch’s CC for 2015, but Busch’s former CC, Knost, was instead dubbed as an interim CC for Patrick that could be pushed to a full-time role.

Prior to today, SHR had not confirmed if Knost would be the full-time crew chief for Patrick and her No. 10 GoDaddy-backed team.

But Patrick’s comments on the subject before last night’s GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile, Alabama (where she took part in the coin toss and presented the trophy to the winning Toledo Rockets) appeared to signal that Knost would get the nod.

“I think something new is both scary but also exciting,” she said to AL.com’s Tommy Hicks. “Until you go there, you don’t know how great it could be. We [she and Knost] worked together a little bit at the end of last season. I think that was a really good thing to do in preparation for 2015.

“Everybody at Stewart-Haas has been working very hard to make sure that every team is as good from top to bottom as possible, and we’ll probably have some changes for next year within the team, but it’s like I said, you never know what you can have until you dare to try something different.

“Daniel is a very smart guy and I’m excited to see what we can do.”

Following SHR’s swap, Patrick finished 36th at Texas, 22nd at Phoenix, and 18th at Homestead to close out 2014 with Knost as her CC. As for Busch, he finished eighth, seventh, and 11th in those same events with Gibson.

Knost made the jump from engineer to crew chief last season with Busch on the No. 41 team, and the two scored a Chase berth-clinching victory in the spring at Martinsville.

But consistent results for the pair were largely missing, with occasional Top-5 runs breaking up stretches of mediocre finishes. Busch was then knocked out of the Chase in the opening Challenger Round.

In the lead-up to Knost joining the No. 10 team as interim CC, Patrick noted that his engineering-based background may end up fitting well with her.

“…He’s definitely like the kind of engineers – in fact, in IndyCar, it was called an engineer instead of a crew chief – that I was used to dealing with,” she said in late October. “We’ve gotten along anyway whether he’s been on my car or not. I’m definitely open-minded and looking forward to the opportunity to see how it will go with him.”

Now, that opportunity will indeed continue into the upcoming season.

Adam Cianciarulo sweeps to second straight Pro Motocross 450 win

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Adam Cianciarulo (450) and Dylan Ferrandis (250) swept both motos of their divisions Saturday in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship event at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota, significantly impacting the points standings.

After scoring his first career victory Sept. 8 at RedBud, Cianciarulo made it two consecutive victories on his Monster Energy Kawasaki. He won the first moto by 1.7 seconds over Blake Baggett and the second moto by 2.7 seconds over Baggett.

“Man, what a dream come true,” Cianciarulo said. “I really wanted to go 1-1 last round at RedBud and had that silly mistake. Today, we got the job done and made it happen. Two consecutive victories in the 450 Class just feels really good. I just want to keep the ball rolling.”

With three rounds remaining, Cianciarulo is ranked second in the standings at a 15-point deficit to Zach Osborne, who won three of the first five rounds.

In the 250 standings, Dylan Ferrandis jumped ahead of Jeremy Martin (who won three consecutive events earlier in the season) by three points (257-254).

Dylan Ferrandis swept both motos for his second win of the season in the 250 class (Align Media).

Ferrandis beat third-ranked RJ Hampshire in the first moto and nipping Martin by 0.4 seconds in the second.

“That was a difficult race in the second moto and the pressure was on,” Ferrandis said. “It was really good for me to have that battle and come out on top in the second moto. The championship is really close and I think that we were able to put on a good show for everyone today. Jeremy [Martin] and I have a good relationship I think and we congratulated each other and talked about the battle after the race.”

NEXT: The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will hold its seventh round Sept. 26 with the Geico Motorcycle WW Ranch National at Jacksonville, Florida.


RESULTS

Thor Spring Creek National (Spring Creek MX Park, Millville, Minnesota)

450 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki (1-1)
  2. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM (2-2)
  3. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha (5-4)
  4. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda (8-3)
  5. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki (6-5)
  6. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM (3-10)
  7. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda (7-6)
  8. Joey Savatgy, , Suzuki (9-7)
  9. Max Anstie, United Kingdom, Suzuki (10-8)
  10. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna (4-16)

450 Class Championship Standings

  1. Zach Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Husqvarna – 235
  2. Adam Cianciarulo, Port Orange, Fla., Kawasaki – 220
  3. Marvin Musquin, France, KTM – 215
  4. Eli Tomac, Cortez, Colo., Kawasaki – 196
  5. Justin Barcia, Monroe, N.Y., Yamaha – 194
  6. Blake Baggett, Grand Terrace, Calif., KTM – 190
  7. Chase Sexton, La Moille, Ill., Honda – 173
  8. Christian Craig, El Cajon, Calif., Honda – 141
  9. Broc Tickle, Holly, Mich., Yamaha – 134
  10. Joey Savatgy, Tallahassee, Fla., Suzuki – 122

250 Class Overall Results (Moto Finish)

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha (1-1)
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda (5-2)
  3. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki (4-4)
  4. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda (3-6)
  5. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha (9-3)
  6. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna (2-11)
  7. Hunter Lawrence, Australia, Honda (7-5)
  8. Jo Shimoda, Japan, Honda (12-8)
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki (11-9)
  10. Derek Drake, San Luis Obispo, Calif., KTM (8-12)

250 Class Championship Standings

  1. Dylan Ferrandis, France, Yamaha – 257
  2. Jeremy Martin, Millville, Minn., Honda – 254
  3. RJ Hampshire, Hudson, Fla., Husqvarna – 202
  4. Alex Martin, Millville, Minn., Suzuki – 194
  5. Shane McElrath, Canton, N.C., Yamaha – 186
  6. Justin Cooper, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., Yamaha – 164
  7. Jett Lawrence, Australia, Honda – 162
  8. Cameron McAdoo, Sioux City, Iowa, Kawasaki – 140
  9. Mitchell Harrison, Brighton, Mich., Kawasaki – 123
  10. Brandon Hartranft, Brick, N.J., KTM – 114
Adam Cianciarulo won the holeshot in both motos at Spring Creek (Align Media).