Hendrick Motorsports has announced that the 24 and 48 crews will trade duties for the remainder of the 2010 season. The change is limited to the seven primary over the wall pit crew members. Additonal team members and personell will not be affected.
This change comes on the heels of the trading of pit crews deep into the race at Texas Motorspeedway on Sunday. This change was brought about by 3 stops by the 48 crew that put the 4 time champion, Jimmie Johnson deep in the field. It appeared that the front tire carrier and right front tire changer struggled on each stop costing Johnson as many as 10 positions on the track. The change though not of unheard of rarely occurs in the middle of a race. It was felt that to perserve Johnson’s Championship hopes the teams should be switched since Jeff Gordon had fallen out of the race after a wreck on the backstretch with Jeff Burton. Chad Knaus, Crew Chief for the 48, stated, “Ultimately the decision is mine” when he was asked who made the decision to change crews.
Gordon’s crew has consistently pulled 12-second stops this year and is leading the fastest pit crew competition sponsored by AT&T.
Chad Knaus and Steve Latarte will address the media Tuesday morning.