MWR makes changes as Childers moves on
August 26, 2013, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com
With crew chief headed to Stewart-Haas, 55 team adjusts personnel
With crew chief Rodney Childers headed to Stewart-Haas Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing has turned to Scott Miller to oversee its No. 55 car.
Miller, a former race-wining crew chief and currently MWR’s executive vice president for competition, will oversee the No. 55 entry beginning this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the team announced Monday. Childers, who next year will work with Kevin Harvick at SHR, spent his last day at the MWR shop Monday. He remains under contract with MWR through Dec. 31.
MWR added that Billy Scott, a race engineer with the organization who has worked exclusively with the No. 55 team the past two seasons, will take an elevated role in car setup and race weekend preparations.
Childers had been with MWR since 2009, winning three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races with the organization -- two with David Reutimann and one earlier this season at New Hampshire with Brian Vickers. The 37-year-old native of Mooresville, N.C., will team with Harvick next season as part of a four-car organization that will also include Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch.
For the past two seasons Childers has overseen a No. 55 car split between Vickers, Waltrip and Mark Martin -- who drove the bulk of the season before leaving last week to finish the year in the No. 14 of Stewart, out for the rest of the year due to a broken right leg suffered in a sprint car crash. The No. 55 stood 19th in Sprint Cup owners’ points following Vickers’ fourth-place run Saturday night at Bristol, which proved Childers’ final event with the team.
SHR declined to comment Monday on any pending personnel moves. The team has an announcement scheduled Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET at its Kannapolis, N.C., headquarters, where its expansion plans will be made public.
Miller won seven Sprint Cup events as a crew chief, six of them with Richard Childress Racing, before departing for MWR at the end of the 2011 season. Vickers, who is moving full-time into the No. 55 next year, will pilot the vehicle in every remaining race this season except for Talladega, where Waltrip will be behind the wheel.