Bobby Hutchens, one of the founding members of the Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR team, has left the organization, the team announced. Matt Borland, formerly the team's technical director, has assumed Hutchens role as competition director.
"Bobby Hutchens, who served as our director of competition since 2009, has been released," team owner Tony Stewart confirmed. "Bobby played an integral part in building Stewart-Haas Racing into a team that wins races and contends for championships. We're grateful for all his hard work and dedication, and I am personally appreciative for the responsibilities he took on Friday through Sunday that allowed me to be just a driver. We wish him nothing but the best."
Borland – a former crew chief to Stewart/Haas' Ryan Newman when they both worked at Penske Racing, before moving up to the role of technical director – has been promoted to vp of competition, Stewart said. Borland will serve as director of competition on an interim basis until that position is filled.
"Matt has been with Stewart-Haas Racing since its inception as technical director," Stewart said, "and with his extensive racing background that includes being a crew chief and competition director, he's well-suited for this new role."
Stewart-Haas has been struggling this season, with both owner/driver Stewart and teammate Newman have yet to win a race. Stewart, who was in the mix at Charlotte and Kansas the past two weeks before fading due to fuel mileage, ranks eighth in the standings with one top-five finish this year. Newman has four top-fives, but has finished 14th or worse in all but one start since Martinsville and is eighth in the standings. Last week Stewart hit out at NASCAR's engine performance balance, claiming Ford's FR9 engine holds a power advantage over the other manufacturers in the Sprint Cup Series. Stewart's team runs Chevrolets with engines built by Hendrick Motorsports.