Skip to content

IndyCar engineer contributes to U.S. bobsled squad

Feb 3, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

Steven Holcomb,Steven Langton AP

An open-wheeled IndyCar and a streamlined bobsled may seem worlds apart, but for David Cripps – a former engineer for IndyCar Series team Panther Racing that’s now helping the U.S. bobsled team in Sochi – his new job isn’t much different from his old one.

“My responsibilities are very similar to an IndyCar race engineer. I am basically responsible for the performance, reliability, development and day-to-day running of the sleds,” Cripps told IndyCar’s official website ahead of training runs in Russia. “There has been a fairly large amount of development upgrades coming up to the Games.”

Cripps knows a thing or two about making things go fast. He helped take Panther’s No. 4 National Guard Honda (now Chevrolet) to four consecutive runner-up finishes in the Indianapolis 500 from 2008-2011 with three different drivers – Vitor Meira (2008), late two-time “500″ champion Dan Wheldon (2009-10), and American racer J.R. Hildebrand (2011).

And he’s not the only IndyCar Series link to the U.S. bobsled effort. Another team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan, has provided steering upgrades for six of the team’s two-man sleds.

Steven Holcomb and Co. will be searching for the first U.S. Olympic medal in the two-man competition since 1952 in addition to trying to defend their four-man gold from Vancouver in 2010.

Cripps’ move into the world of winter sports began after leading a tour of Panther’s garage at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park in 2012 for officials from USA Luge. That led to Panther installing telemetry on one of the luge sleds for a test in early 2013 at Lake Placid, New York.

Then, after officially parting ways with Panther last June, Cripps became a permanent member of the U.S. team through the Olympics. So far, he’s enjoyed what he calls the “invigorating challenge” that’s come with learning a new form of racing.

“So far, this has been an amazing adventure and the best is yet to come,” he added. “It truly has been an honor to work with such an amazing group of athletes and coaches. Their level of effort and dedication is commendable. I think we will be assembling one of the strongest pit crews ever for this year’s Indy 500.”

The bobsled competition begins Feb. 16 at the Sanki Sliding Center, with medal events on Feb. 17 (two-man), Feb. 19 (women’s), and Feb. 23 (four-man). As for the IndyCars, they’ll return to NBCSN on Apr. 13 with their second race of the season, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Latest Posts
  1. Alonso keen on dry qualifying in China

    Apr 18, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

    Fernando Alonso AP

    Spanish driver puts in an impressive display during practice, but warns that rain could scupper Ferrari’s chances of reaching the podium.

  2. New regulations crucial in Honda’s decision to return to F1

    Apr 18, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

    Yasuhisa Arai, Senior Managing Officer and Director, Chief Officer of Motorsports, Honda R&D Co. poses at the Honda Motor Co's headquarters in Tokyo Reuters

    Yasuhia Arai reveals some more information about Honda’s decision to return to F1 and the Japanese marque’s plans for the future.

  3. Difficult day in Hamilton’s eyes despite finishing fastest

    Apr 18, 2014, 6:45 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Practice Getty Images

    Hamilton keen on the team correcting handling issues before qualifying tomorrow.

  4. Hamilton recovers in FP2 to edge out Alonso and Rosberg

    Apr 18, 2014, 3:32 AM EDT

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    Mercedes returns to the top of the timesheets, but Ferrari and Alonso are in close company.

  5. WATCH LIVE: Alonso looks to double up in Shanghai

    Apr 18, 2014, 1:45 AM EDT

    Fernando Alonso AP

    Can Mercedes fight back and resume normal service?

  6. Alonso fastest in first practice for Chinese GP

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:32 PM EDT

    Ferrari Formula One driver Fernando Alonso of Spain arrives for a news conference ahead of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit Reuters

    Spanish driver ends Mercedes streak of first place finishes, but teammate Kimi Raikkonen fails to post a time.

  7. NASCAR AMERICA: Can Gene Haas succeed with an American-based F1 team?

    Apr 17, 2014, 6:58 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    NBCSN’s Rick Allen and Kyle Petty discuss the expectations for Gene Haas as he looks to start a F1 team. The pair question whether an F1 team can be run successfully out of the United States.

  8. NASCAR AMERICA: Kyle Petty — Some of this year’s top rookies mark changing of the guard in NASCAR

    Apr 17, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT

    nascar america

    NBCSN’s Rick Allen and Kyle Petty discuss the emergence of some of this year’s top rookies on Thursday’s edition of NASCAR America. Petty says it is time for a changing of the guard, as many of today’s most successful drivers are nearing the end of their careers.

  9. Alabama Gang rides again with Justin Allison at Talladega

    Apr 17, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT

    The original Alabama Gang. Justin Allison is now the latest member of the gang, turning his first laps at legendary Talladega Superspeedway during an ARCA test there Tuesday and Wednesday. (Photo courtesy JustinAllisonRacing.com) The original Alabama Gang. Justin Allison is now the latest member of the gang, turning his first laps at legendary Talladega Superspeedway during an ARCA test there Tuesday and Wednesday. (Photo courtesy JustinAllisonRacing.com)

    The latest generation of NASCAR’s fabled Alabama Gang rode again in its debut Tuesday and Wednesday at Talladega Superspeedway. Justin Allison, grandson of Donnie Allison and grandnephew of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, both original members of the Alabama Gang, took part in a two-day test of ARCA drivers at NASCAR’s largest oval track.

  10. Ford Racing has some fun to celebrate Mustang’s 50th anniversary (video)

    Apr 17, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT

    (Photo and video courtesy of Ford Racing) (Photo and video courtesy of Ford Racing)

    Whether you like it or not, you can’t say the Ford Mustang doesn’t have staying power. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this month, the Mustang has become one of the premier muscle car brands ever made by Detroit.

  11. NASCAR has shown outstanding parity through first eight races of 2014

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Kevin Harvick is the only two-time winner thus far in the first eight races of the 2014 Sprint Cup season. AP

    NASCAR chairman Brian France’s unwavering stance to bring parity to the sport during his 10-year tenure is finally paying dividends.

  12. VIDEO: Chinese GP Paddock Pass

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

    Alonso

    News and notes from the ground in China from NBCSN’s Will Buxton.

  13. BREAKING NEWS: Swan Racing’s future in NASCAR in question

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT

    Swan Getty Images

    Just eight races into the Sprint Cup season, the future of the two-car Swan Racing team is looking rather murky, with the potential of everything from reorganization to scaling back involvement, if not outright shutting down.

  14. MotorSportsTalk’s predictions: Chinese GP

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Previews Getty Images

    F1 heads to China with change in the wind, only making the predictions harder for our experts.

  15. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET — Gene Haas, Kyle Larson, Scan All 43

    Apr 17, 2014, 2:06 PM EDT

    140417-NASCAR-AMERICA

    Thursday on NASCAR AMERICA, the team will cover a lot of ground, including talking with NASCAR team owner Gene Haas about his foray into Formula One. Rick Allen and Kyle Petty man the anchor desk from our Charlotte studio. Remember to tune in at at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra for your online or mobile device.

  16. Long Beach weekend atmosphere thrills Roger Daltrey, as he promotes Teen Cancer America

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:24 PM EDT

    All photos: Honda/LAT All photos: Honda/LAT

    The Who founder and lead singer paid a visit to Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, and soaked it all in while also raising awareness for Teen Cancer America.

  17. Young go-kart racer shows what true racing and determination is all about

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT

    Screen-Shot-2014-04-17-at-2.25

    The Internet is like coming to a strange five-way intersection that you’ve never seen before. No matter which way you decide to go, you’re bound to find something new and different. So as we were looking for something else, we stumbled upon this video of 7-year-old go-kart racer Ryan Rifredi in a race from December…

  18. Button has faith in Haas Formula and second US GP

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Previews Getty Images

    2009 world champion believes that if anyone can make an American F1 team work, it’s Gene Haas.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA

More from NASCAR America

The new faces of NASCAR

Featured video

Paddock Pass: Inside the Chinese GP
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. McMurray (16656)
  2. K. Harvick (5707)
  3. M. McDowell (2917)
  4. C. Edwards (1519)
  5. A. Seuss (1378)