Race Weekend Central

Tech Talk with Tony Gibson: Taking Stock Of Danica Patrick In Year Two


Tony Gibson, shown here with Hendrick’s Kenny Francis, had a great deal of success at Richmond during the “old days” with Ryan Newman’s No. 39. Can he pull the same step up with Danica Patrick’s No. 10?

A week off is a very rare gem for NASCAR crew chiefs. This past week, Danica Patrick head wrench Tony Gibson took full advantage of the hole in the schedule to get away and get dirty. He spent time with family and friends riding off-road vehicles in Georgia, time off the grid which helped him recharge the …

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Tech Talk With “Bono” Manion: Has NASCAR’s Track Too Tough To Tame Gone… Too Nice?

Tommy Baldwin racing continues to chase the dream on a fraction of the budget of the big race teams. A strategy call that goes wrong can cost them half a dozen positions on the race track and that can drop them into the perilous ‘must qualify on time’ area of the point standings. However, the …

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Tech Talk: Danica’s Crew Chief “Fuels” Through Daytona And Diagnoses Phoenix

2014 Daytona Unlimited Cup Pack Racing Iv Cia 430

Tony Gibson is the only crew chief at Stewart-Haas Racing who is sitting on top of the same pit box that he rode in 2013. His mission? Continue to develop Danica Patrick as a NASCAR driver as she enters her sophomore season in the Cup Series. It’s a job Gibson has been well-equipped to handle. He …

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Tech Talk: Slugger Labbe on Talladega Struggles and Darlington Demolitions

Richard “Slugger “Labbe has been crew chiefing in the Cup series since 1997. The last four seasons he’s been on top of the box for Paul Menard, both at Richard Petty Motorsports and now with Richard Childress Racing. Throughout his career to date, he’s notched five wins, 26 top 5s and 74 top 10 finishes. Labbe has won his five Cup races with three different drivers.

Tech Talk: Alan Gustafson Tells Gordon’s Talladega Tale

_Jeff Gordon has not exactly set the series on fire this year, but believe it or not, the four-time champ is actually having a better start than 2012. A year ago, he was 17th in points after Richmond in the Spring, while this year he’s 14th, boasting one top five and four top 11s to his credit. When the Gen-6 car came out, many people felt that it would be a better fit for Gordon than the Car of Tomorrow, and it has proven to be so far although he’s a step behind teammates Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Kasey Kahne in the Hendrick stable._

Gordon’s crew chief, Alan Gustafson has been turning the screws and making the calls from the pit box as always, trying to mold this No. 24 team back into championship form. As he works on guiding Gordon onward and upward, what’s the key to bringing back the dominant driver of old? Gustafson took some time to speak with Frontstretch bringing back the swagger to his team, the past week of gains at Richmond and the trials ahead for all teams at Talladega._

Tech Talk: Tony Gibson Talks Danica Development And Richmond

_Eight races into the season and Tony Gibson has already learned quite a bit about both his race cars and his driver, Danica Patrick. Gibson is not only dealing with a different chassis but also one of the most well-known rookies to hit the series in the last ten years. It’s an extra pound of pressure on an already stressful job; there is no doubt that being a crew chief in a championship-winning organization comes with sky high expectations. Add in a rookie driver who is a lightning rod for criticism, the current struggles of Stewart-Haas Racing and there are a lot of other places that most people would rather be. Gibson, though, doesn’t shy away from the spotlight and is embracing the challenge unlike anyone else._

_The longtime SHR employee sat down with Frontstretch to discuss some of the current mechanical storylines on the Sprint Cup circuit. Between the tires that don’t wear out, brakes that do and the struggles facing Danica and Company this season, there was plenty to get to. He also speaks about his feelings for the new race car at this point in the season._

Tech Talk: Darian Grubb Sizes Up Substitutes And Texas-Sized Concerns

_Darian Grubb is a Sprint Cup championship crew chief, winning the 2011 title with Tony Stewart. He was starting his second season as the head wrench for Denny Hamlin when Hamlin was injured at California a couple of weeks ago; now, he finds himself calling the shots for multiple drivers filling the seat in his car until they return. With the rules as they are, Grubb’s team will still have a chance to make the Chase if they can stay on top of the car and then win a couple of races with Hamlin in the seat._

_When Frontstretch caught up with Grubb this week, he told us about running Martinsville with Mark Martin and what the FedEx team faces as they head to Texas this week. Grubb covers things from tires to cool temperatures and the difference between having his primary driver in the seat behind him at the track and a sub._

Tech Talk: Shane Wilson Sets Up Short Track Racing From All Sides

_Shane Wilson has been crew chiefing in the NASCAR national touring series for the last 12 years. He’s prepared cars in all three divisions and has 24 victories to his credit during that span, working with such well-known names as Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer. This season, he has been reunited with Brendan Gaughan, whom he started his national crew chief career with in 2001, and is back in the Truck Series. Frontstretch caught up with Wilson and spoke to him about the time off, preparing for Martinsville and keeping cool on NASCAR’s shortest track._