FOX Sports reporter Bob Pockrass first reported the news on June 1. The NASCAR Roster Portal then provided confirmation. It listed Bugarewicz as the crew chief for the No. 14 team for the trip to World Wide Technology Raceway. The veteran, who currently serves as SHR’s performance director, will make his return to the pit box for the first time since 2021.
The reason for the substitution is the largest penalty issued by NASCAR since the start of the Next Gen era. The sanctioning body hit the No. 14 team with an L3-Level penalty after a teardown inspection at the R&D Center. NASCAR determined that SHR had counterfeited a NACA duct, one of the single-source vendor parts.
Bugarewicz Has More Than 200 Races on His Resume
Bugarewicz’s time as a national series crew chief has been solely in the NASCAR Cup Series. He has been atop the pit box for 214 races, and he has celebrated multiple wins with three different drivers.
Bugarewicz first served as a crew chief during the 2016 season. He guided Ty Dillon for three events, Brian Vickers for five, and Tony Stewart for 28. This season included a highlight moment when Stewart bested Denny Hamlin at Sonoma Raceway to capture the final win of his Hall of Fame career.
Once Stewart retired, Bugarewicz remained with the No. 14 team. He guided Clint Bowyer for three seasons, which included wins at Martinsville Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.
Bugarewicz then joined Aric Almirola on the No. 10 team for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Almirola reached the playoffs in both seasons, and he scored a win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the final year of the Gen 6 era.
Bugarewicz Has Success at Upcoming Tracks
With Briscoe receiving an L3-Level penalty, he dropped from 17th in the Cup Series standings all the way to 31st. He lost out on 120 points and 25 playoff points, which put him in a must-win situation for the remaining 12 regular-season races.
There are some tracks on the upcoming schedule that could favor a Briscoe-Bugarewicz pairing. This includes World Wide Technology Raceway, a 1.25-mile track with similarities to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
There is also Sonoma Raceway. Bugarewicz celebrated a win with Tony Stewart at the track. He also helped Bowyer capture two top-three finishes. The driver of the No. 14 finished second in 2017 and then he finished third in 2018.
Briscoe only has two Cup Series starts at Sonoma Raceway — one in 2021 and one in 2022. He finished 17th in the 2021 event, the final trip to Sonoma of the Gen 6 era. He then finished 15th in 2022 while taking on the track for the first time in a Next Gen car.
Briscoe will now take on Sonoma for the third time as he works with Bugarewicz. Though there will be a major difference this time as the Sonoma race will take place without breaks at the end of the first two stages. Drivers will simply secure bonus points — provided they are in the top 10 — and then they will continue with the race at full speed.