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SHR makes changes to Kevin Harvick’s pit crew

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Stewart-Haas Racing has made changes to Kevin HarvickThe pit crew ahead of Sunday’s Cup race at Nashville Superspeedway (5 p.m. ET on NBC), the team confirmed.

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The move came after Harvick’s criticism of the pit crew in two of the last three races. Former Cup champion concedes to teammate Arik Almirola by seven points for what would be the last place in the playoffs. There are ten races left in the regular season.

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“We need to win the race,” crew chief Rodney Childers told NBC Sports. “It seems to us that if you don’t win the race, you might not make it (to the playoffs). You can’t give up a lot of pit road seats and still try to win races.”

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Daniel Coffey becomes a tire fitter for Harvick’s team. Brandon Banks is the team’s new jackman. Daniel Smith (rear tire changer), Jeremy Howard (tire fitter) and Evan Marshal (refueler) remain on the team.

Coffey and Banks are descended from a teammate Chase Briscoecareer brigade. Briscoe has a win that takes him to the playoffs.

Shane Pipala, who used to change front tires on the Harvick team, is moving to the Briscoe team. Stan Doolittle, who was Harvick’s jackman, moves to the Rick Ware Racing team at number 51. Cody Ware. Stewart-Haas Racing supplies pit crew members for the RWR.

Another change is that Matthew Schlitter becomes the jackman on the Briscoe team. Most recently, he was in the crew servicing Ware’s car.

Harvick’s frustration with his team of technicians had been growing in recent weeks.

After finishing fourth at Sonoma two weeks ago, Harvick drew attention to the difficulties of the pit crew, saying: “We had catastrophic crashes at least once a week on pit road and we got as far ahead as we could as usual. I think that’s what it is.”

Asked what he needed for a better finish, Harvick replied, “Something that wouldn’t be a 20 second pit stop.”

According to Racing Insights, his last pit stop at Sonoma lasted 22 seconds. Before the final pit stop, he ran third. After the end of the pit cycle, he was seventh.

He also expressed his dissatisfaction with the crew after finishing third in the Coca-Cola 600: “We went back five times because of bad pit stops. … after I hit the wall, I got a lot tighter, and then every time we made up, we just fell face down on pit road and backed up again.”



Source: nascar.nbcsports.com

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