Tony Stewart explains the new role for Tony Gibson in 2018; Clint Bowyer attributes that and other things to the new found success of the team
In August 2017, Tony Gibson ‘Old Man’ made statements that he was interested in getting off the road. Until that point, he had spent the last 15 years and 440 races as a crew chief in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
For 2018, Billy Scott was brought in as the new crew chief for Kurt Busch. Gibson got his wish, he was placed on the shop floor back in Kannapolis, North Carolina as the team set off on the road for yet another season.
Now, Stewart-Haas Racing has been kicking ass. Specifically, all 4 teams have been consistent inside the top 10. At Dover, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer finished 1-2.
“He’s kinda the floor babysitter, so to speak,” Tony Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing explains from the Dover International Speedway media center.
“I’m kinda joking about it. But, he’s made a huge impact. You really need somebody of his caliber on the floor to really tie this all together.”
“I think that’s really what we’ve seen here. Having him tie all 4 of these teams together at the shop. Kinda watch over everything and make sure that we’re staying the course.”
“When you got 4 crew chiefs and 4 engineers it’s easy to kinda getting going 4 different directions if you’re not careful. That’s something that Tony’s been really good at is kinda tying it all together and make sure that we’re all working together as one unit at the shop.”
“Then when we go to the track… It’s the same philosophy that I drove with at Gibbs. We were 1 race team at the shop. Then, we went to the track we were separate race teams but we still worked together. I think that’s what Tony’s really been good about.”
“Keeping the general focus of what we’re trying to accomplish together.”
“All across the board. Last year, we had 1 car that was running well. It doesn’t do an organization very much if you only have 1 car running well. [We’re] just re-organized,” explains the changes at Stewart-Haas for the 2018 season.
“Gibson coming off the road and collaborating amongst the teams. And makin’ sure all those cars are ready for battle when they go to the race track. They’re kinda the same.”
“That’s the biggest thing. When you go to the race track, you need to be able to bounce off of each other and work with one another. Sometimes, if something’s different or whatever, it’s hard to do that.”
“This year, we’ve been working well. Every single weekend, we’re pushing each other to be better. Our setups are all relatively the same. And it shows on the race track.”
For the first time in the history of the company, Stewart Haas Racing had all 4 cars finish inside the top 10 at Phoenix International Raceway. They almost did it again this week at Dover International Speedway, Aric Almirola finished 11th.
Related: August 2017
Tony Gibson has a desire to get off the road