Chip Ganassi Racing is replacing Chad Johnston with Phil Surgen as Matt Kenseth’s crew chief on the #42 team. Surgen, who has been engineer on the #42 team, will be the crew chief for the remainder of the year, beginning with Saturday’s race at Michigan International Speedway. Johnston’s status with the team is unknown.
“Phil Surgen has been named crew chief for the #42 team at Chip Ganassi Racing, beginning this weekend at Michigan International Speedway and for the balance of the 2020 season,” a statement from CGR read. “Surgen, who is currently a race engineer on the #42 team, has been with the team since 2016.”
Surgen was a fill-in crew chief for Kyle Larson on the #42 team for a race at Michigan in 2016. That effort resulted in a third-place finish.
Ganassi fired Larson in May after Larson used a racial slur during a live online feed of an iRacing event in which Larson was competing. Kenseth has been driving the #42 since NASCAR returned to racing following a 10-week break because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is expected to finish the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season in the car.
Johnston also joined CGR in 2016. He has seven wins as a Cup Series crew chief, six with Larson at Ganassi. In the 16 races since Kenseth joined the team, the #42 has finished in the top-10 twice, the best of those being a second at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Kenseth was 37th, out of 38 drivers, in the most recent race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after causing three cautions in short succession.