Almirola, Bowyer agree change was wanted at SHR
Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer have each expressed the hope that the crew chief adjustments made by Stewart-Haas Racing will bolster their possibilities of matching the successes of teammate Kevin Harvick (pictured at proper above, with Almirola and Bowyer, after Harvick’s Brickyard 400 win in September).
Almirola will work with Mike Bugarewicz starting in 2020. Bugarewicz strikes over to Almirola’s No. 10 crew from Bowyer’s No. 14 for what can be his fifth season as a crew chief.
“Fairly truthfully, to be clear, (it was) make everyone step as much as the extent of that four crew inside our 4 partitions,” stated Almirola. “They felt like this might be transfer to shake issues up between the 14 and the 10 groups and create a brand new dynamic and see if that sparks some higher efficiency.
“I’m enthusiastic about it. I’ve already spoke with Buga and we’re able to hit the bottom operating and searching ahead to constructing on the success that I’ve already had at SHR. [We’re] simply making an attempt to be higher firm huge.”
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Johnny Klausmeier will function Bowyer’s crew chief. The ’20 season can be Klausmeier’s third full yr atop the pit field within the NASCAR Cup Collection.
“It’s not simply these 4 tires and a steering wheel and a throttle pedal. The success is within the individuals,” stated Bowyer. “It’s nonetheless laborious to search out that chemistry … and discovering the fitting individuals and the fitting match to search out the success on a constant foundation.
“You take a look at groups like Kevin and Rodney [Childers] and the success they’ve had, in case you’re in conferences and issues like that, they click on. All of the profitable pairings are that manner, and clearly, that is an effort to search out slightly bit extra of that match issue. I’m wanting ahead to it; I feel it’s going to be factor for all of us. I feel it was the fitting transfer. Undoubtedly enthusiastic about what’s to come back and getting issues began with Johnny and all these guys.”
Each Almirola and Bowyer made the playoffs this yr. Almirola was eradicated after the primary spherical and completed 14th within the standings and not using a win and 12 top-10 finishes. It was a step down in efficiency after Almirola received one race in 2018 and made it to the Spherical of 8.
“I feel it was a yr, it simply wasn’t nice,” stated Almirola. “Final yr was a very good yr and we didn’t, fairly truthfully, dwell as much as those self same expectations and those self same outcomes we had final yr.
“However all in all, I felt we had yr. I used to be pleased with the yr we had. It’s an accomplishment simply in itself to make the playoffs — however we don’t need to be glad with simply making the playoffs. You need to make a run into the playoffs like we did final yr and win races and sadly, we didn’t try this.”
Bowyer was eradicated after the second spherical of the playoffs and completed ninth within the standings. He additionally did not win a race after scoring two victories in 2018.
“We had loads of good runs, however we didn’t have nice runs,” stated Bowyer of his season. “Didn’t punch our ticket into victory lane and that’s what you’re within the enterprise to do. We had loads to beat this yr. There have been rule adjustments and every little thing else that was carried out. It was a troublesome yr for the Fords — and it was coming off a spectacular, greatest yr ever for the Fords, so hopefully subsequent yr can be higher and time will inform. However you simply obtained to maintain perfecting the little issues and focusing in on the issues we are able to management. Definitely chemistry and individuals are a type of and that’s what we’re making an attempt to perform proper now.”
Mike Shiplett will return to the NASCAR Cup Collection because the crew chief for Cole Custer, who he labored with within the Xfinity Collection this yr. Harvick’s crew was the one one who didn’t have a crew chief change.
“The expectations are to be aggressive with all 4 vehicles like we had been final yr — and clearly this yr I don’t suppose everyone met these expectations,” stated Harvick. “I feel that clearly sends a message that with Daniel [Suarez] going out and Cole coming in and all three of the crew chiefs swapping spots, it’s undoubtedly a sign that we have now to make these place adjustments matter and get issues again to the place we had been the yr earlier than.”
SHR received 12 races in 2018 between its 4 drivers. The crew received 4 races in ’19, all courtesy of Harvick.