June 24, 1972 |
Boylston, Massachusetts, United States
|Sport||NASCAR Sprint Cup Series|
|Team||Tommy Baldwin Racing|
Kevin Manion (born on June 24, 1972), nicknamed Bono, is the current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief for the Tommy Baldwin Racing No. 7 Chevrolet SS driven by Michael Annett. Previously, Manion was a crew chief at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, leading the No. 1 team and driver Jamie McMurray to wins in both the 2010 Daytona 500 and the 2010 Brickyard 400.
Manion was born in Boylston, Massachusetts, United States. He helped Bobby Fuller in the NASCAR Winston Modified Series at the age of 14. His first job was cleaning the car plus general mechanic work. Eventually he was promoted to tire changer. Between 1988 and 1992 he worked as a crew chief for Chris Woods on Late Models at Riverside Park in Agawam, Massachusetts.
Manion became the crew chief at Sheba Racing in Hudson, Massachusetts in 1993. His team worked a Modified car for Jeff Fuller and Steve Park. Tommy Baldwin became the crew chief in 1993 and Manion became his main man. Steve Park, the team's driver, missed the 1993 championship by just three points.
In 1995, Manion & friend Tommy Baldwin, moved to North Carolina to further their racing career landing the job of general mechanics for the 41 car of Larry Hedrick Motorsports. The team had Ricky Craven as the driver and a crew chief of Charley Pressley. During this time, Manion and Baldwin shared a house and were later, in 1997, joined by Steve Park. Park's move coincided with his becoming the driver of the No. 3 AC/Delco Nationwide Series car owned by Dale and Teresa Earnhardt. Manion would join Dale Earnhardt Inc. shortly after Park's move.
Manion became the crew chief of the No. 1 Chevrolet in Sprint Cup but later he was specially selected by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Teresa Earnhardt to head the newly formed Chance 2 Motorsports team in the Nationwide Series. That team proceeded to win two championships, 12 victories with Martin Truex Jr and three with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Manion went on to receive a Crew Chief of the Year award. The Chance 2 team's last year in 2005 was championship winning year.
Since 2006, Manion led the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boat’s Team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In 2007, with Martin Truex, Jr. driving, the team claimed their first Coors Light Pole Award, seven top-five finishes, 14 top-10s and their first Sprint Cup win at Dover International Speedway. The win secured Manion's team in the 2007 Chase for the Cup eventually finishing 11th in points. The team finished 15th in the points for the 2008 season with three top-five finishes and 11 top-10s.
In 2011, Manion fielded a Whelen Modified Tour car for Ryan Newman to run at New Hampshire International Speedway. Newman won the race, but the car's intake manifold did not conform to NASCAR specification. Newman was later stripped of his win. Manion and crew chief Mike LaRochelle were suspended from NASCAR regional touring series events for the remainder of 2011. The win was awarded to Modified Series staple Todd Szegedy.
- "drivers: jamie mcmurray". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
- "Kevin Manion". The Crew Chief Club. Retrieved 2011-01-17.
- Car No. 7 Whelen Modified Tour Team Penalized For Rules Violations At NHMS
- Kevin Manion crew chief statistics at Racing-Reference