Michael Waltrip Racing announced Monday that Brian Pattie will serve as crew chief for Clint Bowyer's No.15 5-hour Energy Toyota Camry in next year's Sprint Cup Series.
"Brian is someone who has been on our radar for a very long time," said Waltrip. "He brings a strong technical background, along with great leadership and Chase experience. We have high hopes for Brian, Clint and the 5-hour Energy team heading into 2012 and we think this is the perfect mix of talent, experience and leadership."
Pattie joins the team after 18 victories in a long Nationwide Series career with a variety of drivers and a Sprint Cup stint at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing as crew chief for Juan Montoya. He guided the former open-wheel driver to a spot in the Chase in 2009 and a victory at Watkins Glen in 2010.
"Michael Waltrip Racing is an up-and-coming team making improvements every day," said Pattie, who began his duties at MWR on Dec. 1. "I know how close it is to joining the upper echelon of the Sprint Cup Series. When I started talking with Michael about opportunities at MWR I really did my research and was impressed by their commitment to getting to the top of the sport. I feel like this is a great opportunity to join a new team with a new driver and start building something special. Clint's proven how good he is and I know that will get even better in 2012."
Bowyer said the key to any good driver-crew chief relationship is communication. He and Pattie already have a head start in that area.
"I've known Brian Pattie for a long time and the thing that impresses me the most is how he calls a race and his knowledge of racecars," said Bowyer. "We both grew up working on dirt cars and have pretty similar backgrounds. We understand each other and I think we speak the same language. I know once we get together and start working we're going to see great results."