Bobby Hutchens, one of the architects of the Stewart-Haas Racing team, was released Monday in a management shakeup, the NASCAR organization has confirmed.
"Bobby Hutchens, who served as our director of competition since 2009, has been released," team owner Tony Stewart said in a statement. "Bobby played an integral part in building Stewart-Haas Racing into a team that wins races and contends for championships. We're grateful for all his hard work and dedication, and I am personally appreciative for the responsibilities he took on Friday through Sunday that allowed me to be just a driver. We wish him nothing but the best."
Matt Borland, the former crew chief who had been the Stewart-Haas technical director, has been promoted to vice president of competition. Borland, who was crew chief to SHR driver Ryan Newman when both were at Penske Racing, will serve as director of competition on an interim basis until that position is filled. Once the position is filled, Stewart said, the new director of competition will report to Borland.
"Matt has been with Stewart-Haas Racing since its inception as technical director," Stewart said, "and with his extensive racing background that includes being a crew chief and competition director, he's well-suited for this new role."
The shakeup comes amid an uneven first third of the season for the Stewart-Haas drivers, who are both inside the top 10 in Sprint Cup points but yet to win a race. Stewart, who was in the mix at Charlotte and Kansas the past two weeks before fading due to fuel mileage, ranks eighth in the standings with one top-five finish this year. Newman has four top-fives, but has finished 14th or worse in all but one start since Martinsville and is eighth in the standings.
Hutchens, who was a fixture at Richard Childress Racing before becoming vice president of competition at Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2008, was among Stewart's first key hires. The native of Winston-Salem, N.C., has an engineering degree from North Carolina State and oversaw a Stewart-Hass team that won seven races over the first two years of its existence.
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