By Dave Rodman, NASCAR.COM
February 14, 2007
04:19 PM EST
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Team owner Ray Evernham had harsh words Wednesday morning for NASCAR, due to the severity of penalties handed to all three of his Nextel Cup teams on Tuesday.
But by the time cars rolled out for the day’s second practice for Thursday’s Gatorade Duel qualifying races, he had announced his reorganized team lineups.
All three Evernham Motorsports crew chiefs were suspended from Speedweeks activities due to infractions found either before qualifying, in the case of No.19 Dodge team director Josh Browne and No. 10 team director Rodney Childers; or after, for No. 9 Dodge team director Kenny Francis.
Francis was fined $50,000 and suspended for four races beginning with the Daytona 500 while Browne and Childers were fined $25,000 apiece and suspended for two races.
While Evernham determines whether or not he will appeal the penalties, which would enable his team directors to participate in track activity until the National Stock Car Commission hears the case, he’s adjusted his team rosters for Thursday’s qualifiers.
For driver Kasey Kahne’s No. 9 Charger, regular engineer Keith Rodden will serve as team director, car director Rich Hubbs will maintain his position and Australian Nick Hughes, who was Kahne’s engineer in 2005, will move into that role.
For driver Scott Riggs’No. 10 Charger, regular engineer Kevin Kidd will serve as team director, Dave Bryant remains car director and Mike Wolfe, an engineer with Evernham’s Busch program, will serve in that position.
For driver Elliott Sadler’s No. 19 Charger, Kirk Almquist moves into the team director’s position while retaining his car director’s responsibilities. Tim Malinovsky, who served as the No. 19’s engineer last season and regular engineer Chad Johnston, will share that role.
Due to the changes and newly assumed responsibilities, Evernham said he would share Sadler’s strategy calls on the radio from the pit box Thursday with Almquist.
Evernham’s other two regular support staffers, competition director Sammy Johns and vice president and director of Evernham Engines Mark McArdle will work with Riggs and Kahne, respectively.