Kaulig Crew Chief Nick Harrison Dies At 37

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Kaulig Crew Chief
Nick Harrison. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images for NASCAR photo)

WELCOME, N.C. – Longtime NASCAR crew chief Nick Harrison, who had served as the signal-caller for Justin Haley at Kaulig Racing this season, has died.

Kaulig Racing officials confirmed the unexpected news on Sunday morning, less than 24 hours after the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Nick Harrison, our beloved crew chief of the No. 11 car at Kaulig Racing,” said team owner Matt Kaulig and team president Chris Rice in a joint statement. “Please keep Nick’s family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.”

No other details were immediately available.

From Columbia, N.C., Harrison called the shots for a myriad of drivers over his 14-year NASCAR career and spent time atop pit boxes in all three of the sport’s national divisions. He was a veteran of more than 300 races as a NASCAR crew chief.

Harrison debuted in that role in what was then the NASCAR Busch Series (now the Xfinity Series) in 2006, part of four races split between drivers Chad Chaffin and Steadman Marlin.

He then took a hiatus from the national spotlight before returning in 2010, working with Phoenix Racing and veteran car owner James Finch in both the Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup Series on a part-time basis before graduating to the Cup Series as a full-time crew chief the next year.

During a two-year tenure as a full-time crew chief at the Cup level, Harrison earned one top-five and two top-10 finishes, both with Kurt Busch in 2012. He also worked with Landon Cassill, Bill Elliott, Boris Said, A.J. Allmendinger and Regan Smith, among others.

Harrison made six trips to victory lane as a NASCAR national series crew chief, most notably playing a leading role in five Xfinity Series victories between Phoenix Racing and Richard Childress Racing, which he joined in 2014.

His last Xfinity Series win as a crew chief came on June 9, 2018, in a rain-shortened event at Michigan Int’l Speedway where Austin Dillon drove to victory lane.

Harrison also earned a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win with Dillon in 2014 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

This season, Harrison had been working with Kaulig Racing as Haley’s crew chief, leading the No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro team.

The duo earned two top-five and 12 top-10 finishes together.