News & Media

Engineer replaces Tryson as Truex's crew chief

June 07, 2011, Sporting News Wire Service,

Lead engineer Chad Johnston has replaced veteran Pat Tryson as crew chief for Martin Truex Jr.'s No. 56 Toyota, effective immediately, Michael Waltrip Racing announced Tuesday.

"This is a good opportunity for me since this is the direction I have always wanted to go in my NASCAR career," Johnston said in a team release. "Michael Waltrip Racing is a good organization to work with as we have assembled a strong NAPA Racing team and a more-than-capable driver. My goal is the same goal that this team set at the start of 2011 and that goal is to win races and try to get in the top 10 in points."

Truex and Tryson have been together since the start of the 2010 season, when Truex came to MWR from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Tryson moved from Penske Racing. Truex finished 22nd in the Sprint Cup standings last season and currently is 22nd through 13 races this year. Truex hasn't won a Cup race since June 4, 2007 at Dover.

MWR says Tryson will be redeployed within the company.

"Chad's been a great addition to the NAPA team ever since he joined us last season," Truex said. "He jumped in and really helped with the preparation of our cars. He's shown a lot of leadership in his position and has shown me he really understands a racecar. He also understands all of the tools at his disposal here at Michael Waltrip Racing since he's an engineer.

"His personality and mine mesh really well. We get along great, and he really understands what I am saying. He is extremely good at pulling more information from me to get the answers to questions he has when setting up the car. The communication between he and I is impressive, and we just click. I'm looking forward to what all we can accomplish together as a team."

Though he has shown flashes of speed in 2011, Truex has struggled through an inconsistent season and has had issues with his over-the-wall pit crew, telling them on the team radio at one point during the April 30 Cup race at Richmond, "You're all [freaking] fired."

Truex has three top-10s to his credit this season, with his best result a sixth at Las Vegas in March.