Danica Patrick begins a new era with this week’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
After two good years with crew chief Tony Gibson, she now welcomes Daniel Knost as the head of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS. Knost is the interim crew chief and brings along his road crew from the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) entry of Kurt Busch. Gibson and his road crew move to Busch and the Haas Automation team. The pit crews remain the same.
Knost worked with Patrick as an engineer for eight races at SHR in 2012 under Greg Zipadelli. He is also very well educated, having graduated from North Carolina State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.
He continued his pursuit of higher education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 2003 and a doctorate in the same field in 2008.
As crew chief for Busch, Knost scored a win in March at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and led Busch to the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. In 2013 he was the race engineer for Ryan Newman and won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and helped lead the team to the 13-driver Chase for the Championship.
Patrick is hoping Knost will continue her success as she nears the end of her second full year in the Sprint Cup Series. Their first race will be at Texas and it is a place that Patrick has had some success.
In four Sprint Cup races, her best finish was 24th in November 2012, but her NASCAR Nationwide Series and IndyCar results are promising.
Patrick has four Nationwide starts with three top-14 finishes, including an eighth in April 2012. In eight IndyCar starts, she has five top-10 results, including second place in June 2012, and she also led three laps.
As Patrick and Knost begin their working relationship this weekend, both are hoping for good things in Texas.