Brian Whitesell (born April 23, 1964) is an American team manager in NASCAR Sprint Cup auto racing from Stuarts Draft, Virginia. He is the team manager for the Hendrick Motorsports #5 team of Kasey Kahne and the #24 team of Jeff Gordon. He has been part of seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship teams (1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2006 and 2007).
Early involvement in racing
Whitesell became involved in racing as a senior at Virginia Tech. He had a senior class project involving the design and construction a Mini Baja racecar through the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). After graduation in 1987, he went to work at Mack Trucks in Allentown, Pennsylvania, as a mechanical engineer. Whitesell transferred to Mack Trucks' office in Columbia, South Carolina. Whitesell used the office to volunteer for Alan Kulwicki's underfunded team on weekends as an attempt to get into motorsports in 1992. He drove the team's hauler, spotted, and scored for the team. He was part of Kulwicki's championship team.
He joined Hendrick Motorsports in 1993 as a transporter driver, timer/scorer, and chassis technical on rookie Jeff Gordon's #24 DuPont team. He began using his mechanical engineering degree in 1994 as one of the first engineers in NASCAR. He was named the Western Auto Mechanic of the Year in 1997. The team won three championships in five years. In September 1999 Whitesell was named the crew chief for Gordon after Ray Evernham left. The #24 team won two of the next seven races. After the season he was named team manager of the #24 team, and the team won the 2001 championship.
Hendrick Motorsports added a second team in 2002 in the #48 car driven by Jimmie Johnson. Whitesell oversaw the growth the teams. Both teams finished in the Top 5 in points in both 2002 and 2003. The teams finished second and third in 2004. In 2005 Whitesell was named the team manager for the #5 car driven by Kyle Busch, the #25 car driven by Brian Vickers, and the #44 car driven part-time by Terry Labonte.
Announced on May 28, 2009, Whitesell filled in as crew chief for one race, the May 31 running of the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway, for struggling Hendrick Motorsports superstar, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
- Conversation: Brian Whitesell, NASCAR.com; Lee Montgomery, September 29, 2004, Retrieved September 14, 2007
- Crew Chief Profile; Hendrick Motorsports, Retrieved September 14, 2007
- Engineer on the Fast Track: Brian Whitesell keeps Nascar's winningest cars in the running; Virginia Tech, Su Clauson-Wicker, Retrieved September 14, 2007
- Man behind the curtain; Yahoo, Bob Margolis, August 17, 2005; Retrieved September 14, 2007