By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Former NASCAR Cup Series championship winning crew chief Cole Pearn will be taking his talents to the NTT IndyCar Series.
That’s because Ed Carpenter Racing announced Wednesday that Pearn will be the lead engineer for Conor Daly’s No. 47 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet in next month’s 104th Indianapolis 500 Presented by Gainbridge.
Pearn was elated when describing the announcement as he’ll be working with Peter Craik, the lead engineer of Ed Carpenter’s No. 20 Chevrolet and former co-worker at Furniture Row Racing.
“I am super excited to get a chance to compete in the Indy 500 with Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter Racing. I wasn’t sure when I would want to get back to racing, but this is a great opportunity to do so. To be able to do it at a high level was too hard to pass up,” said Pearn. “Obviously, it will be a steep learning curve but getting to work with Pete Craik again and the rest of the ECR team is about the best situation I could hope for!”
Daly, who made a single NASCAR start at Road America back in 2018, shared his excitement of having Pearn aboard.
“I am really excited to get to work with Cole for the first time at the Indy 500! We’re both going to have to get up to speed with this ECR operation, but I can’t wait,” said Daly. “Cole has had an incredible amount of success in the NASCAR world and now we’ll be going for our first Indy 500 win together!”
ECR General Manager Tim Broyles said adding Pearn to the engineering staff should bring tremendous boost onto the team morale with the 500-mile race set to take place August 23 (2:30 p.m. EST on NBC).
“We prepare all year to be the best we can be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and bringing on someone of Cole Pearn’s caliber for August only adds to that,” said Broyles. “We are proud of the engineering program that we have built and Cole is a solid addition to that group.”
Following a short lived stint competing in CASCAR (later becoming the Pinty’s Series), Pearn transitioned into the engineering role where he began working for Richard Childress Racing. The University of Waterloo alumni would eventually become crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr. at Furniture Row Racing in 2014.
This led to one of the more successful dynamic duos of the 2010s as FRR went from being a mid-pack squad to elite title contenders. From 2015-18, they won 17 races together including the 2017 Cup Series championship before the Denver, Colorado shop closed doors after 2018.
Both moved to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019 where they continued their winning ways with seven wins. However, burnt out about a lot of things, including the North Carolina lifestyle that played a role into leaving RCR, the 37-year-old announced last December he’d be stepping away from the sport.
Since his departure of being on top of the pit box, Pearn returned home in Canada with his family, transforming into an analyst for NASCAR.com and operating the Golden Alpine Holidays.