Friday, November 23, 2007
Jayski.com is reporting that Penske may be shifting things around a bit. They are reporting that Ryan Newman and the #12 Alltel Dodge team may have a new crew chief for the 2008 season.
Under current Crew Chief Mike Nelson, Ryan Newman and the #12 team had 5 DNF's due to engine related problems this year. I also just kept getting the sense that Newman was never really happy with the way his car was set up - if any driver is ever really happy with it.
But I am not sure a crew chief change should be the answer. In the last 16 races of the year the lowest RUNNING finish (no accidents or engine problems) was 16th. He also only had 4 finishes outside the top 10 and 4 top 5 finishes. In that same time frame he had 3 races end with engine problems and 3 ending with accidents.
All in all not bad. I think swapping out crew chiefs could lead to another struggling year for Newman in 2008. Even if it he is the best crew chief in the world, Newman and his crew chief are going to have to learn how to get along, how to talk and how to understand what the other one is saying. It can take a little time to get adjusted to each other.
But this currently a rumor - I believe. Here is the posting that Jayski.com has -
Crew Chief change at the #12? #77 needs one? hearing Roy McCauley take over as the crew chief for the #12 alltel Penske Racing team for driver Ryan Newman. McCauley started the 2007 season as Kurt Busch's crew chief in the #2 Dodge. Supposedly current #12 crew chief, Mike Nelson, will move over to a management position at Penske Racing. The crew chief job for the #77 team and driver Sam Hornish Jr. is supposedly open.(11-17-2007)