User-agent: * Allow: / CH on Track: Who lit the match igniting the fire in Stewart-Haas Racing?


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Who lit the match igniting the fire in Stewart-Haas Racing?

The Army team changes tires on the #39 Chevy I...
The Army team changes tires on the #39 Chevy Impala in the pit
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There seems to have been a turn around at Stewart-Haas Racing in the competition department. Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman are on fire—peaking at just the right time—so to speak.

Could Matt Borland, VP of Competition at Stewart-Haas Racing be holding the match?

It may be no coincidence that stepped up performance in both Tony Stewart’s #14 car and Ryan Newman’s #39 car seems to coincide with personnel changes at Stewart-Haas Racing instituted in June. That was when Matt Borland was promoted to VP of competition. Borland, who had been with the team even before Stewart took over co-ownership, replaced Bobby Hutchins, who was ‘let go’ June 6.

It seemed that performance in both teams was lacking. Something had to be done. And, it appears the change was just the right medicine.

Borland had been Newman’s crew chief at Penske Racing during the time when Newman was nicknamed “Rocketman” because of his unstoppable qualifying prowess.

Both drivers got off to a rough start this season. But in July, Newman won his first race. Two months later—last weekend at Chicagoland--Stewart won his first race. Just recently, Newman has put together a string of top 5’s and top-10 finishes. Both drivers have made the Chase for the Championship.

And, Newman has just clocked the fastest qualifying lap for tomorrow’s race at Louden.

Whatever caused the winning formula, let’s just hope it continues.
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