NASCAR Cup Series drivers Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton recently reflected on the crew chief swap and how it has helped them get a head start for the upcoming season.
Team Penske’s Austin Cindric and Wood Brothers Racing driver Harrison Burton had a crew chief swap before the 2023 Cup playoffs. The decision, orchestrated by swapping Jeremy Bullins and Brian Wilson between the No. 2 Ford and No. 21 Ford teams, respectively, was implemented just before the Cook Out Southern 500. It marked the beginning of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Darlington Raceway.
The swap extended throughout the entirety of the season and will persist into the upcoming 2024 campaign.
Cindric recently sat down with FOX Sports journalist Bob Pockrass, where he dwelled on the advances of having clarity surrounding his crew chief situation before the 2024 season. He said:
“I think from a performance standpoint, it gave us really a headstart on 2024. Obviously not being in the playoffs kind of, you know either you’re racing for your teammates that are in the playoffs or you’re racing for opportunities next season.”
The 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion added:
“So, for myself, Brian and the No. 2 team, it’s just an opportunity to kind of get a headstart, build a notebook together with this car and give us a shot to start off 2024 on the right foot.”
Harrison Burton backs decision of swapping crew chiefs with Austin Cindric
Burton echoed Cindric’s sentiments, expressing his initial surprise at the crew chief swap and acknowledging its positive impact on both teams. He said:
“Yeah it was interesting, definitely, the last ten weeks with the crew chief swap. That was not something I really knew about until it all went down.
“Looking back I think it was the right decision for both teams to have the swap.”
The Wood Brothers Racing driver also stated:
“We believe in the people we had. It was just a matter of the matchup. So, going into this year, I feel really good about what Jeremy brings to the table and what I can bring to the table with Jeremy. Excited to get after with those guys for sure.”
With a top 5 finish to his name, Austin Cindric concluded the 2023 season in 24th position in the standings. Harrison Burton, on the other hand, accumulated a total of 452 points, ending the season on a lowly 31st rank in the standings.