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Rodney Childers: Throwing Away Top-Five Finishes is ‘Not What the 4 Car is About’

Josh Berry Martinsville Speedway Rodney Childers pit crew issues 2024 Cook Out 400

Photo Credit: Danny Hansen, NKP, Courtesy of Ford Performance

As post-race teardown was ongoing, Rodney Childers was left in disbelief on the back of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team hauler. The veteran championship-winning crew chief knows that he provided a great car for his rookie driver Josh Berry in Sunday’s Cook Out 400 at Martinsville Speedway, evidenced by Berry’s long-sustained period inside the top-10 in the race.

Unfortunately, pit road was a massive problem, and issues on pit road played a big role in Berry finishing the day in 25th-place, instead of fifth place.

“Yeah, we’ve had a really good car the last two weeks. Pit road has just been a complete disaster,” Childers told after the race. “We had a guy get hurt, and has been out the last two weeks. I don’t know if that is what kind of has everything off or what is going on. But we’ve been bringing good cars, and [Berry] has been doing a good job. And honestly, it should have been two top-fives in a row, and we’ve just kinda thrown them away. We just gotta get our stuff together on pit road to give him a chance.”

The injured crew member for the No. 4 team was Tire Carrier Jeremy Howard, who has missed the last two events. With how things have gone, you’d imagine SHR is really hoping Howard is healed enough to return to pit road very soon.

Throwing away a good run is always frustrating, but it’s even more frustrating when it is at a type of track that your young driver thrives at. Childers knows a big opportunity to bank a lot of points fell by the wayside at the 0.526-mile short track.

Childers explains not closing out good days is not a characteristic associated with his race team.

“Yeah, I mean these are the types of tracks we need to capitalize on,” Childers explained. “This is what he’s good at. We’re learning and getting better every week, but throwing away possibilities of top-fives, that’s not what the 4 car is about. We definitely gotta get things better and get back on track.”

While pit road has doomed the No. 4 team over the last few weeks, ruining potential top-five runs, Childers believes in his pit crew, and feels that this is only a bump in the road.

“Well, I mean the group we have was No. 1 all year last year, so, we’ve gotta put it behind us and move forward. It’s not a people problem, it’s a whole lot of other problems now. We just gotta get through it,” Childers stated.

While it was another disappointing finish, Berry, Childers, and the No. 4 team can carry the silver lining of having another really fast race car at the track this weekend at Martinsville.

The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team will look to get through it beginning next weekend at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway. Berry finished 20th at the only other 1.5-mile intermediate race of the season, which took place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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