|Matt Kenseth with Todd Parrott at Auto Club Speedway in February. |
Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
Fennig replaces Todd Parrott, who joined the No. 17 team as crew chief at Auto Club Speedway in February. In 15 starts this season, The Kenseth-Parrott pairing accumulated seven top 10s, four of which were top 5s. Parrott will serve as the new R&D manager at Roush Fenway, a position formally held by Fennig.
The move pairs Kenseth, who drove Roush Fenway to its first Sprint Cup Championship in 2003, with Fennig, who served as crew chief on Roush Fenway’s 2004 championship team.
“I am very pleased that we have been able to place these two together on the No. 17,” said team owner Jack Roush. “These guys were both instrumental in our back-to-back Sprint Cup Championships in 2003 and 2004, with Matt driving us to our first Cup Championship and Jimmy of course being instrumental in the 2004 championship as the team’s crew chief. We would expect this pairing to yield strong results as both of these guys are extremely talented and among the best in the business at what they do.”
Fennig will be joined on the No. 17 by car chief Richie Davis. Davis had been working in Roush Fenway’s research and development department alongside Fennig. Current No. 17 car chief Charles “Cully” Barraclough will move over to car chief the R&D program.
One of the most successful crew chiefs in NASCAR history, Fennig has accumulated 27 Sprint Cup wins in his extensive career, while working with drivers such as Bobby Allison, Mark Martin, Dick Trickle, Kurt Busch and David Ragan. He helped lead Busch and the No. 97 team to the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in the inaugural “Chase for the Cup.”
In 2006 Fennig teamed with Kenseth in the Nationwide Series, with the duo racking up four poles, three wins, 15 top-fives and 18 top-10 finishes in 21 starts.
Fennig, a Milwaukee, Wis., native who cut his teeth in the American Speed Association (ASA) as a crew chief in the mid-1980s, joined Roush Fenway in the fall of 1996 and has been with the organization ever since. During his tenure he has served as crew chief on the No. 6, No. 26 and No. 97 Sprint Cup programs, the No. 17 Nationwide Series program, as well as overseeing the R&D program this season.