Among the lasting impacts the coronavirus will have on NASCAR is showing the sport it can be nimble with schedules, formats and races in ways few thought possible. Just as impactful, though, could be who will be Cup crew chiefs in the future. How those positions are filled could be changing as a result of these times. Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing are among organizations that have promoted an engineer with no significant crew chief experience to lead Cup teams in recent years. But with many Cup teams no longer sending engineers to races in this era of crew limits, will that trend continue? Two of this year’s new Cup crew chiefs came from the Camping World Truck Series and two moved up from the Xfinity Series. MORE: Ben Beshore charting Kyle Busch’s course correction Engineers have been among those squeezed by NASCAR’s crew limits. In 2019, Cup teams were limited to 12 road crew members, not including the pit crew, at the track. … [Read more...] about Friday 5: Could the pandemic impact future crew chief hires?
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The buzz goes beyond the boot cut these days for Jimmie Johnson, which is good for a freshly minted IndyCar driver who spent a few years on the margins. The seven-time Cup Series champion endured a muted ending to his illustrious NASCAR career with three winless seasons and two consecutive playoff misses. Yet since hanging up his Hendrick Motorsports helmet, Johnson seems to be making headlines again more than ever — but now he’s being thrust into the center of positive narratives. The most recent example is a runner-up finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which was so well-received that Johnson knew within hours that it would lead to more IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races (starting with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring later this month). Viewership for the Rolex 24 , which also included Cup champion Chase Elliott, spiked 19 percent. NEW LOOK : The No. 48 IndyCar livery that Jimmie Johnson helped design “All the amazing exposure that all four … [Read more...] about The buzz is back for Jimmie Johnson as his IndyCar and IMSA seasons take flight