Harrison joins RCR as Nationwide Crew chief
October 08, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Veteran wrench leaves Phoenix Racing, will guide No. 33 team
Nick Harrison has been named crew chief of the No. 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series team fielded by Richard Childress Racing, according to a news release from the Welcome, N.C.-based organization.
Harrison, who will begin his duties immediately, replaces Ernie Cope on a team that has fielded Chevrolet entries for nine different drivers in 2013. That likely won't be a problem for Harrison, who had worked with nearly a dozen drivers this season while serving as crew chief for Phoenix Racing's No. 51 entry in the Sprint Cup Series. Jimmy Elledge will serve as the crew chief for the No. 51 car for the remainder of the year.
"In our eyes, Nick has done a great job as crew chief with the No. 51 Chevrolet team in Cup," Eric Warren, RCR's director of competition, said. "We have had several discussions with him and really enjoy his fresh attitude and strong work ethic. We believe he is going to be a great fit for RCR."
Harrison is a race-winning crew chief in Nationwide, having helped guide Kurt Busch to a victory in the July race at Daytona International Speedway last season.
Busch had nothing but great things to say about Harrison during Tuesday's testing at Martinsville.
"I think that's great for Nick," said Busch, whose current team, Furniture Row Racing, is allied with RCR. "Nick is definitely a crew chief who's a real go-getter. He's a hard worker. He comes from a background of hanging around with Sterling Martin, which is a fun group. Phoenix Racing … he fit in real well there, and he was a great leader to o as much as he could with what was supplied to him. And it's great to see him take the next step to see him go up to RCR and be a full-time crew chief, week in and week out, worry about an assembly line of cars, an assembly line of people. I think he's ready for it.
"And I think it will be a great combination for him to still relax and have fun, because they might not be racing for points, but if he starts to do too well, that 33 will be in the owners' championship run, and he'll have to balance that as well."
For his part, Harrison is excited about the opportunity with RCR.
"Having worked with a few of the smaller-sized teams, I can appreciate the resources and manpower RCR has throughout their shops," Harrison said. "They are known for their winning ways and I'm stepping into a Nationwide team which already has two victories this year."
Harrison will be working alongside crew chiefs Danny Stockman and Phil Gould, crew chiefs for the RCR Nationwide teams of Austin Dillon and Brian Scott, respectively. Dillon currently leads the series' points standings while Scott sits seventh. The No. 33 team is eighth in owner points.
RCR Cup driver Kevin Harvick is scheduled to drive the No. 33 entry in Friday's Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.