Race Weekend Central

Bono Manion Added as Ty Dillon’s New Crew Chief

Ty Dillon will have a new crew chief heading into Richmond Raceway this weekend.

Spire Motorsports announced July 25 that Kevin “Bono” Manion has been named the interim crew chief for the No. 77 team in the NASCAR Cup Series.

“We really want that car to get going and, unfortunately, we had to make a change,” Jeff Dickerson, Spire co-owner, said in a team release. “We’ve agonized watching and waiting for the results to mirror the effort Ty and the 77 team puts into their program. Expectations are a funny thing. They’re a blessing and a curse and, for whatever reasons, those expectations aren’t being met.

“We all know, Kevin Bellicourt (former crew chief) included, what happens at this point of the season when we are, where we are, in the overall standings. Kevin has put in a lot of hard work and has been with us from the beginning of our journey, so this decision was difficult and not taken lightly.”

“At the end of the day, we are what our results say we are. We need a spark to give this team every opportunity to progress and ultimately succeed. We’re incredibly fortunate to have someone as accomplished as Bono already in-house. That said, we admit, it might not change the trajectory of the season for the No. 77 team. However, doing nothing, although tidier and more comfortable, especially with the relationships involved, clearly is not an option for us anymore and we are keen to see improvement. There is a lot of racing left in 2023 and it’s imperative that we’re raising the bar every week.”

See also
Stat Sheet: The Most Successful Drivers Without a Cup Championship

Bellicourt was Dillon’s crew chief for the first 21 races of the season, resulting in not a single top-10 finish and only two top-20 finishes, 19th at Atlanta Motor Speedway and 14th at Talladega Superspeedway.

In comparison, Dillon’s teammate in the No. 7 Spire car, Corey LaJoie, has mustered a host of finishes within the top 20.

Manion brings to Spire some substantial experience as the former crew chief for Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr. in the Cup Series, where he won a combined five races atop the pit box.

This season, Manion has worked in the NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Craftsman Trucks series, last handling crew chief responsibilities for Carson Hocevar at the Rackley Roofing 200 Nashville Superspeedway in Xfinity and for Kyle Larson for the Tyson 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway in Trucks.

Manion was announced as an interim crew chief. Timing on a permanent replacement has not been revealed.

Manion’s first race as Dillon’s crew chief, the Cook Out 400 at Richmond, will be broadcast on Sunday, July 30 at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network.

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8 Comments
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DoninAjax

He’ll win now!

Echo

lol wonder if bubba’s car has ever been post race inspected.

Jill P

Yeah right, blame it all on the crew chief as usual. No responsibility on the driver whatsoever.

Jeremy

Not when the driver’s Grandpa owns the car!

Echo

For whatever reason those expectations aren’t being met” wow, what a dumb ass owner. Ty Dillon isn’t even close to being a cup drive.

DoninAjax

What does that imply about Bubba compared to Tyler?

Echo

mmm, I forgot about Tyler. Nascar really wants bubba in the chase, no doubt about that one.

Bill B

I know. He’s so far below competitive (as well his team) that it isn’t even worth wasting the time to criticize.

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