1. The head of a crew, especially for maintenance of aircraft or racing cars.
2. Crew chief (auto racing), the head person on a race team who directs both the driver and pit crew
Miscommunication can turn out to be lethal during a NASCAR race if it happens between crew chief and driver.
Take Joe Gibbs Racing. During the final laps of the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, driver Denny Hamlin of the No. 11 FedEx Camry, who finished second, respectively, and crew chief Darian Grubb had a major miscommunication before the last pit stop of the race.
The miscommunication centered around whether to take two tires or four on the final stop. Grubb wanted to go with two tires, which would have kept them on par with the rest of the field, but he thought Hamlin wanted fresh rubber on both sides — hence, the four-tire call.
“Darian asked me how much of the tires I felt like I used up,” Hamlin said. He said, “I think two’s the call.”
“I said, OK – just give me tires and no adjustments.” Grubb took that as I meant four tires. It was just a little miscommunication that turned a possible win into a second-place finish. You never know what could have happened on that last restart if we had taken two tires. The No. 5 of Kasey Kahne still may have been better, you never know.
The No. 11 FedEx Camry of JGR was the top-finishing Toyota in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Hamlin led the field five times for a race-high 150 laps (of 301) — after starting third.
Hamlin was very disappointed because he had the dominant car for most of the race. “They gave me a new package this time around. We dominated all the practices and it showed in the race what we had. It’s part of it,” said Hamlin. The last pit stop had put Hamlin from first place, back to 12th. The bottom line was they just didn’t have enough laps to catch Kahne and came up short. “It’s days like these that you can just build on,” said Hamlin, “We’re going to be back here in just a few months – when it really counts – and that’s when you want to win — so we know we have something to race with. I would have loved to get win 200 for No.11 team. That part of it is frustrating that we can’t break through and get that. We’re getting close.”