Matt McCall set for 200th Cup race as crew chief at Kansas

When the green flag waves on Thursday, July 23, for the Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas Speedway, Matt McCall will achieve a significant milestone of his racing career. McCall, who currently serves as crew chief for Kurt Busch and the No. 1 Monster Energy/Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team, will reach 200 starts as a Cup crew chief.

A native of Denver, North Carolina, and a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a major in mechanical engineering, McCall started his racing career at age nine as a go-kart driver. He would go on to win the 2004 Super Sport track championship at Hickory Motor Speedway. He also achieved two UARA-Stars titles in 2005 and 2009. In October 2003, he made his NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway. Driving the No. 56 Denver Marine/Hot Wheels Chevrolet for Danny McCall, Matt McCall finished 21st, two laps behind, in his series debut.

In 2006, McCall competed in five NASCAR Xfinity Series races and two ARCA Menards Series races. In February, driving the No. 55 CitiFinancial Ford for Yates Racing, McCall started and finished in the runner-up spot behind veteran Bobby Gerhart at Daytona International Speedway in his ARCA debut. His other ARCA start was at Kentucky Speedway in May, where he started fifth and finished third. McCall’s first Xfinity race was at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, where he qualified 21st and finished 24th in Yates Racing’s No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford. His other four Xfinity starts came at Nashville Superspeedway in April, Dover International Speedway in June, Nashville in June and at Martinsville Speedway in July, where his respective finishes were 42nd, 41st, 34th and 26th.

After being released from Yates Racing, McCall joined Richard Childress Racing as a race engineer. In July 2013, McCall served as an interim crew chief for veteran Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet team in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In McCall’s first NASCAR race as a crew chief, Burton finished 43rd, last place, due to a mechanical issue. McCall also made one Truck start at Bristol Motor Speedway in August and in the No. 92 BTS Tire & Wheel Distributors Chevrolet for team owner Ricky Benton, where he started 27th and finished 22nd.

Following the 2014 season, McCall departed RCR and joined Chip Ganassi Racing to serve as a Cup Series crew chief for Jamie McMurray and the No. 1 McDonald’s/Cessna Chevrolet team. In McCall’s first full season as crew chief, McMurray achieved four top-five results, 10 top-10 results and made his first Chase for the Cup before settling in 13th in the final standings and despite achieving no wins throughout the season. Between 2016 and 2017, McMurray and McCall did not win, but they achieved a combined five top-five results, 29 top-10 results and made the Chase in both seasons, finishing 13th in the 2016 standings and 12th in the 2017 standings. In 2018, McMurray and McCall did not win and they did not make the Playoffs as they only achieved two top-five results, eight top-10 results and a final points result of 20th.

In 2019, McCall remained with Chip Ganassi Racing, but was paired with the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, who replaced McMurray as driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet with Monster Energy sponsoring him. For the first 17 Cup races of the season, McCall and Busch achieved four top-five results, two runner-up results, nine top-10 results. The following race at Daytona International Speedway, Busch and McCall were in position to win before they, along with others, decided to pit late in the race for tires and fuel. The strategy, however, did not fall into the favors for Busch when a lightning strike near Daytona paused and eventually, made the race official as Busch was scored back in 10th.

The following race at Kentucky Speedway, McCall achieved his first NASCAR Cup Series win as a crew chief when Kurt Busch held off brother, Kyle, in a two-lap shootout to grab a thrilling win, a victory that guaranteed Busch and the No. 1 team a spot in the 2019 Cup Playoffs. Busch and McCall would record seven more top-10 results for the remainder of the season before settling in 13th in the final standings. The combo also achieved three stage wins throughout the 2019 season.

Through the first 18 Cup races of this season, McCall and Busch have achieved a pole, a stage win, four top-five results and 11 top-10 results. They are ranked ninth in the regular-season standings and are 108 points above the top-16 cutline to the Playoffs.

Catch McCall’s milestone start in the Super Start Batteries 400 at Kansas Speedway on July 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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