Kevin “Bono” Manion, an experienced crew chief, has been appointed as the temporary crew chief for Dillon and the No. 77 Chevrolet team. This change will take effect starting from the upcoming race at Richmond Raceway in Virginia. Manion will be taking over from Kevin Bellicourt.
Manion will be in charge of crew chief duties for Dillon in 14 out of the remaining 15 races this year. However, he will not be available for the race at Daytona International Raceway next month. This is because he already had prior commitments to crew chief the organization’s Truck series entry at Milwaukee during the same weekend.
Dillon, who is currently in his first fulltime season with Spire, has not achieved a top-10 finish so far. Out of the 21 races he has participated in, his highest position was 14th at Talladega Superspeedway in April. Unfortunately, the No. 77 car was unable to complete five races.
“We have a strong desire for the car to start moving, but regrettably, we had to implement a modification,” expressed Jeff Dickerson, co-owner of the team. “We have been distressed while observing and patiently anticipating the outcomes to align with the dedication that Ty and the No. 77 team have invested in their program.”
Expectations can be quite intriguing. They possess both positive and negative aspects, and unfortunately, they are not being fulfilled for some unknown reasons.
Ultimately, our identity is defined by the outcomes we achieve. To advance and achieve success, our team requires a catalyst. We are extremely lucky to already have someone as skilled and accomplished as Bono within our organization.
Manion has achieved victories in all three NASCAR national series – Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks. He secured back-to-back championships in the Xfinity Series alongside Martin Truex Jr. in 2004-2005. Additionally, he has triumphed in the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 with former driver Jamie McMurray. Recently, he celebrated nine victories in the Truck Series, the most recent one being with Kyle Larson.
“We acknowledge that the alteration may not have a significant impact on the No. 77 team’s performance for the season,” Dickerson commented on the change. “Nevertheless, maintaining the status quo, despite its convenience and positive relationships, is no longer acceptable to us. We are eager to witness progress.”
“We still have a significant amount of racing events remaining in 2023, and it is crucial that we consistently strive for improvement each week.”
Spire has two fulltime Cup entries, with Dillon driving the No. 77 and Corey LaJoie driving the No. 7. Additionally, Spire also has a part-time entry in the Truck Series.