Chad Johnston has returned to Stewart-Haas Racing to work with Ryan Preece and the No. 41 Ford team for this season’s NASCAR Cup Series.
Johnston worked with team co-owner Tony Stewart near the end of his NASCAR Cup Series career in 2014 and ’15. He will guide Preece in his first season at Stewart-Haas as Preece, who replaces Cole Custer, returns to the series full-time.
Custer, meanwhile, moves back to the NASCAR Xfinity Series for SHR. There he will work with Jonathan Toney, who has been with the company since 2003, dating back to when it was Haas CNC Racing before Gene Haas and Tony Stewart partnered in 2009.
Toney has previously served as the lead engineer for Stewart from 2009 through 2012, which includes Stewart’s third championship-winning season in 2011. He has also served as an engineer overseeing all Stewart-Haas NASCAR race teams.
“In Chad Johnston and Jonathan Toney, we’ve got two guys who are hungry to win that also bring a lot of smarts and experience to each of their roles,” said Greg Zipadelli, chief competition officer, SHR. “Both are very familiar with our program and our people. It’s great to have Chad back with our race team. A lot of the people he worked with when he was here before are still here today, and he already has a rapport with Ryan Preece. Chad fits in seamlessly and has a tremendous work ethic.
“Jonathan has been a workhorse and his fingerprints are on a lot of the success this team has enjoyed. He’s been here since the very beginning and knows this place inside and out. Jonathan has definitely earned this opportunity and all of us are proud to see him take on this new role.”
The crew chiefs on the other Stewart-Haas teams remain unchanged.