The Changes, They Are A Coming!


(WOMR file photo)

Let’s see where do I start?

Michael Waltrip Racing:

Now that Michael Waltrip Racing has let David Reutimann go, and replaced him with a partial season of Mark Marin, Michael Waltrip , and a variety of other drivers fill up the schedule, MWR has decided to change the MWR #00 car number to #55.  The number commemorates Charlie Loudermilk’s founding of Aaron’s, Inc. in 1955.

Richard Childress Racing:

Changes are in the offing here as wall.  Longtime crew chiefs Gil Martin and Shane Wilson have taken new assignments within RCR.  Martin has been named director of team operations, reporting to director of competition, Kent Day.  Meanhwile, Wilson has tapped to become the crew chief of the RCR #29 Budweiser Chevy with Kevin Harvick as his new driver.  There will be further assignment changes with the RCR organization in the next few weeks.

Penske Racing:

On this past Monday, Steve Addington, who was the crew chief on #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge driven by Kurt Busch, announced that he was leaving Penske Racing effective immediately.

Stewart-Haas Racing:

It was announced that Darien Grubb would no longer be the crew chief for Tony Stewart’s #14 Home Depot Chevy.  There was no formal announcement as to the possibility of Grubb’s repositioning within the organization at this time.

There is also some speculation that SHR is courting Stewart’s former crew chief, Greg Zipadelli.  The speculation is that SHR is offering Zipadelli the job of becoming their new director of competition, replacing Bobby Huchins who departed  SHR in the late summer.  There is also talk that SHR wants to hire Steve Addington to become the new crew chief for the #14 SHR Chevy.

Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing:

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that Chris Heroy has been named crew chief of the #42 Target Chevy with driver Juan Pablo Montoya. Heroy takes over the role effective immediately in preparation for the 2012 season. Heroy joins Earnhardt Ganassi Racing from Hendrick Motorsports where he began in 2004, most recently as lead engineer on the # 5 car for six of the previous seven years. The other year he held the same role on the #88. In addition, he was paired with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson as crew chief in a number or their Nationwide Series races during the 2011 season. Interim crew chief Jim Pohlman, who took over the #42 team at the end of July, will remain with the organization.

Roush-Fenway Racing:

There was an announcement of multiple layoffs at RFR.  The rumors are the number of layoffs could be as high as 125. Prior to today, RFR employed about 440 people. Roush Fenway is expected to reduce its NASCAR Sprint Cup car count from four cars to three next season, with the #6 driven by David Ragan likely to be shuttered, or part-time at best. At last report, the team is also without sponsors for the #17 of Matt Kenseth. The team may also reduce the size of its NASCAR Nationwide Series operations from three cars to one or two.

This is, most likely, just the tip of the iceberg for movement within the NASCAR community this off-season!  Stay tuned for more of “the 2011 silly season”!


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