Longtime crew chief Nick Harrison dies at 37, team announces
LOUDON, N.H. -- Kaulig Racing announced Sunday morning that veteran crew chief Nick Harrison died. He was 37.
Harrison was the crew chief for Justin Haley’s No. 11 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series and had called the car’s 13th-place finish Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
In a statement attributed to team owner Matt Kaulig and president Chris Rice, the team said in a tweet that “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. Please keep Nick’s family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.”
No cause of death or information on services was immediately available. A Kaulig Racing spokesperson said “further details would be provided as they come.”
NASCAR released a statement on Harrison’s death: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of longtime crew chief Nick Harrison, and offer our thoughts, prayers and support to his family, friends and Kaulig Racing colleagues.”
According to Racing-Reference.info, Harrison made his debut as an Xfinity crew chief in 2006. He was a crew chief for 184 Xfinity races (including 17 with Haley this year) and had five victories, his first with Kurt Busch in 2012 at Daytona International Speedway with James Finch’s Phoenix Racing.
He also worked 120 races as a crew chief in the Cup Series, including full seasons in 2011-12 with Phoenix Racing’s No. 51 Chevrolet. He guided Busch to a third place June 24, 2012 at Sonoma Raceway, marking Harrison’s best finish as a Cup crew chief.
Harrison also won three times in the Xfinity Series with Austin Dillon and once with Paul Menard. He also won with Dillon in the Aug. 2, 2014 truck race at Pocono Raceway, one of three truck races for Harrison as a crew chief.
Words can’t describe how I feel about @NickHarrison111. The man was one of the first people to believe in me in the Cup series. He gave me an opportunity to drive for James Finch which gave me confidence to believe in myself at the top level. We were able to win the together...— Austin Dillon (@austindillon3) July 21, 2019
During a career with several teams including Phoenix, Richard Childress Racing and Kaulig, Harrison worked with more than a dozen Cup and Xfinity drivers. The roster included Bobby Labonte, Bill Elliott, Boris Said, A.J. Allmendinger, Micahel McDowell, Regan Smith, Ryan Truex, Landon Cassill, Jamie McMurray, Ty Dillon, Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones, Ben Kennedy and Brendan Gaughan.
Only worked with Nick Harrison a few times but we instantly became friends. He was genuine, hilarious and a true racer. Very sad to hear of his passing. Only thing I can say is This is not our home. Praying for his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/Ia90TjzlZt— Michael McDowell (@Mc_Driver) July 21, 2019
Nick was very special to me. He made a huge impact on my career early on and has been a great cheerleader ever since. He told me what tire pressures to run in Morgan’s 89 car yesterday, he was a loyal guy who took care of a lot of folks. https://t.co/8Sbg0ZJW3y— landon cassill (@landoncassill) July 21, 2019
.......We will never understand why we are called home at the exact time that we are, but our good buddy Nick Harrison got that call last night. He never met a stranger, and would bring a smile to everyone’s face he was around. We love you man & you will be greatly missed 🙏🏼— Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) July 21, 2019