Jul 17, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT
Veteran NASCAR crew chief Pat Tryson has been released after just 17 races as crew chief for Nationwide Series rookie driver Dylan Kwasniewski.
Turner Scott Motorsports announced Thursday that Shannon Rursch will replace Tryson atop the pit box for the No. 31 Chevrolet, effective with Saturday night’s NNS EnjoyIllinois.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Rursch was previously car chief for the No. 31 NNS team.
“I respect (Turner Scott’s) decision,” Kwasniewski told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Thursday afternoon. “It’s a shame to see Pat go obviously. We had a great relationship, and he’s a great crew chief.
“Now that we’ve got Shannon, I think he’s going to do a fantastic job. He’s got all the tools to do so. He knows what he needs to do, and I think he’s got the experience to do so.”
Kwasniewski, who is currently 12th in the NNS standings and is vying for series Rookie of the Year honors, has struggled greatly in his rookie season. The 19-year-old Las Vegas native has just one top-10 finish (no wins and no top-fives) in the first 17 races.
Since finishing eighth in the season-opening race at Daytona (started from the pole), Kwasniewski has finished 20th or worse eight times. In his last six starts, he’s recorded showings of 26th, 31st, 26th, 11th, 24th and 13th.
He also has three DNFs.
Kwasniewski has also made two starts for Kyle Larson in the NNS series when Larson was unable to compete for TSM in the No. 42 car. In those starts, Scott Zipadelli has served as crew chief and will remain in that position for any other races Kwasniewski has to replace Larson in this season.
Kwasniewski joined TSM for the 2014 Nationwide Series after winning the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championships.
In the Sprint Cup Series, Tryson was a crew chief from 1997 through 2013, serving with drivers including Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., David Gilliland, David Reutimann, Geoffrey Bodine, Kevin Lepage, Elliot Sadler and Ricky Rudd.
In 504 Sprint Cup races, Tryson earned eight wins, 62 top-five and 108 top-10 finishes as a crew chief.
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