Brian Pattie to call 500th Cup career race as crew chief at Martinsville

A significant milestone achievement is in the making for Brian Pattie, crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the NASCAR Cup Series. By participating in this weekend’s 400-mile Cup event at Martinsville Speedway, Pattie will call his 500th event as a crew chief in NASCAR’s premier series. 

A native of Zephyrhills, Florida, Pattie made his debut as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief at Watkins Glen International in August 1999, where he was paired with Canadian Ron Fellows and the No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet team. By then, he was in his fifth season working for NEMCO Motorsports and had made select starts as a crew chief for the organization between the Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series. In Pattie’s first event as a Cup crew chief, Fellows started seventh and notched a runner-up result behind Jeff Gordon.

Pattie spent the following two seasons working as a crew chief for NEMCO Motorsports that was campaigning on a part-time basis in the Xfinity Series and making limited Cup Series starts on the road course events (Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen). Paired with Fellows, Pattie and Fellows made a total of three starts between 2000 and 2001, where Fellows did not finish during his three starts.

Then in 2002, Pattie reunited with Hendrick Motorsports and worked as a crew chief in a total of 22 events for the team’s No. 25 Chevrolet entry that started the season with driver Jerry Nadeau. Making his first appearance of the season at Darlington Raceway in March, Pattie led Nadeau and the No. 25 team to only one top-10 result, which was an eighth-place at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, through seven events, which concluded at Richmond Raceway in May. Prior to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, Nadeau was replaced by Joe Nemechek due to performance issues. Pattie and Nemechek, however, struggled through the following 15 scheduled events as they finished no higher than 18th place before Pattie was replaced by Peter Sospenzo for the rest of the 2002 season.

From 2003 to early 2008, Pattie scaled back to the Xfinity Series. During the 2003 season, he took over as the team manager for NEMCO Motorsports before joining Chip Ganassi Racing in mid-2004 and reassuming his role as crew chief for CGR’s “all-star” entry that was shared between Reed Sorenson, Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray. During the following five seasons at CGR, Pattie achieved three victories and tallied his win column to 11, with his previous eight victories occurring at NEMCO.  

Then in June 2008, Pattie returned to the Cup Series as a crew chief for Juan Pablo Montoya and the No. 42 Dodge team. By then, Montoya had undergone his third crew chief change of the season after posting a single top-five result (second place at Talladega Superspeedway in April) through the first 16 scheduled events. Making his first appearance at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Pattie led Montoya and the No. 42 team to a single top-five result, which was a fourth-place result at Watkins Glen in August, and a 25th-place result in the final driver’s standings.

Remaining as Montoya’s crew chief in 2009 as Chip Ganassi Racing merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. and swapped manufactures from Dodge to Chevrolet, Pattie and Montoya had a breakout season, where they achieved two poles, 12 top-10 results throughout the 26-race regular-season stretch. They nearly won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July before Montoya, who led a race-high 116 of 160 laps, was penalized for speeding on pit road during a cycle of green flag pit stops with 35 laps remaining, which relegated him back to 11th place in the final running order. Nonetheless, Pattie led Montoya and the No. 42 Chevrolet team into the 2009 Cup Playoffs and with an opportunity to compete for the title. The duo earned four consecutive top-four results at the start of the Playoffs, but only two top-10 results during the remaining six events as the No. 42 team settled in eighth place in the final standings.

Through the first 21 events of the 2010 Cup season, Pattie and Montoya achieved three poles, four top-five results and eight top-10 results, but a series of inconsistent results prevented the team from returning to the Playoffs. Nonetheless, the duo scored a breakthrough victory at Watkins Glen in August after Montoya led 74 of 90 laps en route to his second Cup career victory as Pattie achieved his first win in NASCAR’s premier series as a crew chief. Pattie and Montoya went on to record five additional top-10 results through the remaining 14 scheduled events before settling in 17th place in the final standings. By then, Pattie surpassed 100 career events as a Cup Series crew chief.

Pattie initially commenced the 2011 Cup Series season as Montoya’s crew chief for a third full-time season, where they achieved two poles, two top-five results and six top-10 results during the first 19 scheduled events. Following New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July, however, Pattie was replaced by Jim Pohlman for the remainder of the season.

Then five months later, Pattie was named a full-time Cup Series crew chief for the No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota Camry team piloted by Clint Bowyer for the 2012 season. Following two top-five results and eight top-10 results during the first 15 scheduled events, Pattie and Bowyer achieved their first victory with MWR after Bowyer led a race-high 71 of 112 and fended off the field during a two-lap shootout to emerge victorious at Sonoma Raceway in June. Ten races and an additional five top-10 results later, the duo rallied from a midway spin and survived a late fuel mileage battle to claim a second victory of 2012 at Richmond Raceway in September, which marked the regular season finale before the Playoffs commenced. 

Pattie, Bowyer and MWR began their charge for the 2012 Cup championship by posting three consecutive top-10 results during the first three Playoff events. After being involved in a last lap multi-car wreck at Talladega Superspeedway in early October, they rallied the following weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway by claiming a third victory of the season after Bowyer fended off Denny Hamlin in another fuel mileage battle to the finish. Four races later, Pattie and Bowyer, both of whom were coming off three consecutive top-six results, were within striking distance of narrowing the deficit of the championship battle. Then at Phoenix Raceway in November, their title hopes evaporated after Bowyer was involved in a late controversial incident with Jeff Gordon, where Gordon retaliated from an earlier contact with Bowyer by wrecking Bowyer head-on into the Turn 3 wall and igniting a scuffle between the two respective crew members in the garage area. Pattie and Bowyer managed to record a runner-up result in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but settled in second place in the final standings and 39 points shy of the title to Brad Keselowski. While they did not emerge as the champions, Pattie and Bowyer collected a total of three victories, 10 top-five results, 23 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 10.9 in their first campaign with MWR

The 2013 Cup Series season saw Pattie and Bowyer return to the Playoffs, but only achieve 10 top-five results, 19 top-10 results and a seventh-place result in the final standings as they were unable to record a single victory. The consistent season for the duo, however, was overshadowed with their involvement in manipulating the final results at Richmond in September, where Bowyer spun intentionally late in the event and gave teammate Martin Truex Jr. an opportunity to capitalize on a three-lap shootout and make the 2013 Cup Playoffs. A few days after Richmond, MWR was fined $300,000 and docked 50 driver/owner points, which knocked Truex out of the Playoffs while Bowyer, who had secured a Playoff spot prior to Richmond, remained in the postseason. In addition, all three MWR crew chiefs, including Pattie, were placed on probation for the remainder of the season. In the midst of the controversy, Pattie surpassed 200 Cup events as a crew chief.

Following two consistent seasons at MWR, Pattie and Bowyer struggled in 2014, where they only achieved five top-five results and 15 top-10 results as they did not make the Playoffs and fell back to 19th place in the final standings. Pattie then spent the first 16 events of the 2015 season with Bowyer, where they recorded four top-10 results, before MWR underwent a crew chief swap to the team’s two-car effort that saw Pattie move to the No. 55 Toyota team piloted by David Ragan while Billy Scott took over as Bowyer’s crew chief. Pattie’s best result with Ragan in 20 races was 12th place at Daytona in July. When the 2015 Cup Series season concluded, MWR ceased operations.

The 2016 Cup Series season marked a new beginning for Pattie, who joined Roush Fenway Racing as a crew chief for the No. 16 Ford Fusion team piloted by veteran Greg Biffle. The new duo, however, struggled with consistency as they managed a single top-five result together throughout the 36-race schedule, which was a fifth-place result at New Hampshire in July. Failing to make the 2016 Cup Playoffs, Biffle settled in 23rd place in the final standings. Despite being absent for four events, two of which stemmed from post-race violations discovered at Charlotte Motor Speedway between late May and early June, Pattie surpassed 300 Cup events as a crew chief.

The following season, Pattie, who remained at RFR, was paired with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 17 Ford Fusion team. Pattie and Stenhouse collected four top-10 results through the first nine scheduled events and were coming off a fourth-place effort at Richmond Raceway in April. Then during the following event at Talladega in May, the duo, which started on pole position, emerged victorious after Stenhouse outlasted a late battle with Kyle Busch during an overtime restart to claim his first Cup career victory. The victory snapped a three-year winless drought for Roush Fenway Racing and a five-year winless drought for Pattie.

Seven races later, Pattie and Stenhouse went to Victory Lane for a second time in 2017 after Stenhouse survived another overtime restart to win at Daytona in July. The pair of superspeedway victories were enough for the No. 17 RFR Ford team to qualify for the 2017 Cup Playoffs. Despite finishing no higher than 15th place during the Playoff’s Round of 16, Pattie and Stenhouse earned valuable stage points to transfer to the Round of 12 by a mere margin. Their 2017 title hopes, however, came to an end during the Round of 12 after finishing no higher than 13th place during the round’s three events. Nonetheless, they capped off their season with two top-10 results during the final four scheduled events and a 13th-place result in the final standings.

Compared to the 2017 season, the 2018 and 2019 Cup seasons were difficult seasons for both Pattie and Stenhouse as they accumulated a total of four top-five results and eight top-10 results, with their best result in the standings being 18th in 2018. In the midst of the two seasons, Pattie surpassed 400 Cup events as a crew chief. 

In 2020, Pattie and Stenhouse both departed RFR and joined JTG-Daugherty Racing, where Stenhouse took over the No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. They commenced the season on a high note by claiming the pole position for the 62nd running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in February. During the main event, however, Stenhouse was penalized late for advancing his position below the double yellow line “out of bounds” zone. He was then involved in a late collision while trying to pit under green and relegated back to 20th place in the final running order. Despite posting three top-five results during the following 12 scheduled events, a series of inconsistent results prevented the duo from making the 2020 Cup Playoffs in their first campaign with JTG-Daugherty Racing. Finishing no higher than 12th place during the 10 Playoff events, Pattie and Stenhouse finished in 24th place in the final standings.

Remaining at JTG-Daugherty Racing in 2021, Pattie and Stenhouse commenced the season with six consecutive top-20 results before notching a strong runner-up result at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Course in April. They managed a sixth-place effort at Nashville Superspeedway in June before enduring another inconsistent season as they missed the Playoffs and settled in 22nd place in the final standings.

Through 499 previous Cup events, Pattie has achieved with six victories, nine poles, 56 top-five results and 127 top-10 results while working with eight different competitors. He and Stenhouse have finished no higher than 10th place during the first seven events of the 2022 season and they are ranked in 28th place in the regular season standings.

Pattie is scheduled to call his 500th Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, April 9, with coverage to occur at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

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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