Richard Childress Racing Makes Leadership Changes for Xfinity Program

Sheldon Creed

Getty Sheldon Creed races at Martinsville Speedway.

Richard Childress Racing has a goal of contending for an Xfinity Series championship in 2023. The organization has taken a step toward this with leadership changes.

According to a press release, Danny Lawrence has received a promotion. He will become RCR’s managing director of team alliances and Xfinity operations. Meanwhile, Mike Shiplett will join the organization as the Xfinity Series competition director.

Lawrence has been with RCR for five decades, and he has taken on some important roles during this time. For example, he was the chief engine builder for Dale Earnhardt from 1998-2001. Now he will manage RCR’s relationships with alliance partners while also continuing to focus on the Xfinity Series program.

“RCR has a winning history in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and these promotions position our organization to continue delivering championship-caliber success for our drivers, fans, partners, and alliance teams,” Richard Childress said in a press release.

“We’d like to thank Danny Lawrence for his many years of service to RCR, and his efforts in developing young talent at all levels of our organization. Danny’s leadership is appreciated and will continue to be pivotal to our program. We’d also like to welcome Mike Shiplett to RCR. We’re looking forward to the knowledge and expertise he brings along.”

Shiplett Left Another Championship-Winning Organization

Austin Hill

GettyAustin Hill (front) races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The addition of Shiplett brings even more experience to Richard Childress Racing. The veteran has been a crew chief in the national series for several years, and he has led multiple drivers to wins.

Shiplett has won in all three national series, but he achieved the most success in the Xfinity Series. He spent eight seasons in the series and helped eight different drivers reach Victory Lane. This list includes Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson, Justin Marks, Alex Bowman, John Hunter Nemechek, Ross Chastain, Tyler Reddick, and Cole Custer.

Larson and Shiplett achieved significant success together with 10 wins. This includes a four-win season in 2018 when Larson only made six starts in the Xfinity Series. Shiplett also guided Custer to a seven-win season in 2019, which resulted in a runner-up finish in the championship standings.

When Custer moved up to the Cup Series in 2020, Shiplett joined him. This duo spent three seasons together at Stewart-Haas Racing while celebrating one win — Kentucky Speedway in 2020.

The situation changed after 2022. Custer moved back to the Xfinity Series while Ryan Preece replaced him in the No. 41 Ford Mustang. Chad Johnston took over the No. 41 team while Shiplett moved over to Richard Childress Racing.

RCR Has Key Pieces in Place for 2023

With the leadership changes in the building, Richard Childress Racing is ready for the 2023 Xfinity Series season. The team has its primary drivers and its key executives.

Richard Childress Racing announced on November 2 that Sheldon Creed would return to the Xfinity Series lineup. He will be back in the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro along with primary partner Whelen Engineering.

Creed finished his rookie season 14th in the championship standings despite missing the playoffs. He posted 13 top-10 finishes and four top-fives in 33 races, headlined by runner-ups at Darlington Raceway and Martinsville Speedway.

Austin Hill will also be back at RCR after winning two races and Rookie of the Year in 2022. He ended the year sixth in the championship standings after narrowly missing the championship four.

Hill will return to the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro and pursue more Xfinity Series wins. He will also make several Cup Series starts for Beard Motorsports while pulling double duty.

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