Matt Kenseth will have a new crew chief for the rest of 2020

Nick Bromberg
·2-min read

There’s another change being made to the No. 42 team.

Chip Ganassi Racing said Tuesday that Chad Johnston had been replaced by Phil Surgen as the crew chief of Matt Kenseth’s car. The change comes after Kenseth had multiple tire issues during Sunday’s race at New Hampshire and finished 37th.

Kenseth was hired to replace Kyle Larson during NASCAR’s coronavirus hiatus after Larson said the N-word during a virtual race in April. The racial slur caused the No. 42 car’s two main sponsors Credit One and McDonalds to disassociate themselves with Larson the next day and he was fired by CGR soon after.

The 2003 Cup Series champ hadn’t driven a Cup Series car since 2018 and his return to NASCAR hasn’t gone well. He has just two top-10 finishes in 2020 and has an average finish of 20.6. He did finish second at Indianapolis to Kevin Harvick in July. But since then he hasn’t finished better than 17th.

Johnston had been Larson’s crew chief since the 2016 season. The two won six races in four seasons together; four of those victories came in 2017 as Larson finished eighth in the standings.

Before coming to CGR, Johnston was Tony Stewart’s crew chief for two seasons.

Matt Kenseth drives during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Thursday, July 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Matt Kenseth drives during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., Thursday, July 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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