Drew Blickensderfer, who announced his departure from Front Row Motorsports last month, will move to Stewart-Haas Racing to serve as the crew chief for Aric Almirola and the No. 10 team during the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season.
“Drew has been in the sport a long time and knows how to get the best out of the people around him, and that’s really what the job of crew chief has become,” Greg Zipadelli, SHR vice president of competition said. “We have the same parts and pieces, but what we do with those parts and pieces will make the difference. Drew has worked with a lot of drivers and managed a lot of people. He already has a rapport with Aric, and that will make the learning curve in a season full of learning a little less steep.”
Blickensderfer, 45, will look to add to his four-career NASCAR Cup Series wins as a crew chief. Blickensderfer won three races during a three-year stint as a Cup Series crew chief for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing between 2009 and 2011. Blickensderfer returned to victory lane in 2021 as the crew chief for Michael McDowell, who won the season-opening Daytona 500.
According to a press release from Stewart-Haas Racing, Mike Bugarewicz, who was Almirola’s crew chief in 2021, has been given a promotion and will serve as the organization’s performance director.
Zipadelli says Bugarewicz was the perfect person to move into the new role for the team.
“With the NextGen car being brand new, there will be continuous development on it every time it turns a wheel. Going into it, we knew we needed to shore up our resources and really bolster our competitive approach. Buga is the right guy to tackle all the newness that’s coming at us pretty fast,” said Zipadelli. “He’s an engineer and he’s also a racer. He will be that glue between simulation, at-track reality, engineering and our race teams, and his laser-like focus in this new role of performance director will be a huge asset to our team.”
The remainder of the 2022 SHR crew chief lineup will remain the same as it was in 2021.
Rodney Childers will return to the No. 4 team with driver Kevin Harvick.
John Klausmeier will continue to call the shots for 2021 Rookie of the Year Chase Briscoe and Mike Shiplett will return as the crew chief for Cole Custer.
Additionally, the team announced that Richard Boswell will return as the crew chief for the No. 98 NASCAR Xfinity Series team, which will be driven by Riley Herbst again.