Chip Ganassi Racing released a statement, naming Phil Surgen as crew chief for the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team driven by Matt Kenseth for the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader races at Michigan International Speedway.
Surgen, who works as a race engineer for CGR and has been part of the team since 2016, will also be atop the No. 42 pit box as crew chief for the 2003 Cup champion for the balance of this year’s Cup season, replacing veteran Chad Johnston, who has also been with the team since 2016 and won six races as the No. 42 crew chief from 2016 to 2019.
Surgen served as an interim crew chief for the No. 42 team driven by former CGR driver Kyle Larson at Michigan in June 2016 when Johnston was suspended for one race and fined $20,000 following a post-race infraction the previous race at Pocono Raceway, where the No. 42 Chevrolet was discovered with a missing lug nut during the post-race inspection process. In Surgen’s one-race term as crew chief at Michigan, Larson finished in third place.
The No. 42 team originally led by Johnston started this year with Larson behind the wheel. Through the first four races, the driver and the team notched three top-10 results, including a best result of fourth place at Phoenix Raceway in March. In April, during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, Larson was suspended by NASCAR and released from his ride with Chip Ganassi Racing for using a racial slur during a live iRacing event. When the season resumed in May at Darlington Raceway, Kenseth was named as driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet for the remainder of the 2020 season. Through 16 races, Kenseth has recorded two top-10 results, a best result of second place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, five top-15 results and two DNFs. He has also led a total of 12 laps and has recorded an average result of 20.63. The driver and the team sit in 28th place in the regular-season standings and are 210 points below the top-16 cutline to qualify for the 2020 Cup Playoffs with six regular-season races remaining until the postseason field is determined.
The upcoming NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader races at Michigan International Speedway will occur on August 8-9. The race on August 8 will occur at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN while the race on August 9 will occur at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.