Silly Season Silliness Strikes the Crew Chiefs

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
Who says that silly season is limited to drivers? The season just ended and the shuffling has begun. To borrow a term just used, it's musical chairs…the music has stopped, now grab a crew chief before it starts back up.

Hot off the presses but of no surprise, Steve Addington has left Penske Racing. "Steve Addington is no longer with our organization. We appreciate the successes we experienced together and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Tim Cindric, Penske Racing president, said in a brief statement Tuesday. Rumors and reliable reports have Addington headed to Stewart-Haas Racing for 2012.

Speaking of the Stewart-Haas camp, Darian Grubb will not be returning as Stewart’s crew chief in 2012. What? This move shocks me to say the least! Yes, the beginning of the year was tough and inconsistent, but with Grubb’s guidance and professionalism, Stewart is now a three-time NASCAR champion. When asked after the win on Sunday, Grubb said, “I was told early on in the Chase before Charlotte I wasn’t going to be here next year.” It was refreshing to see that was not a hindrance to him or his team. “We just kept fighting and doing everything we had to do every week,” said Grubb. Whether Grubb stays with SHR in a difference capacity or another team snatches him up, his experience is invaluable.

With the news that David Ragan’s team will more than likely be shut down, crew chief Drew Blickenderfer is expected to join Richard Childress Racing as new crew chief for Jeff Burton and the No. 31 team. Luke Lambert, Burton’s crew chief during the 2011 season will move to Elliott Sadler’s Nationwide Series as RCR and Kevin Harvick Inc. merge next season.

In other possible crew chief related news: Clint Bowyer’s addition to Michael Waltrip Racing leaves him needing a crew chief. It appears that Brian Pattie, former crew chief for Juan Pablo Montoya, will be filling that role at MWR.

In other swaps, there are also changes going on within teams. As Clint Bowyer leaves Richard Childress Racing, his crew chief Shane Wilson is expected to move to the No. 29 team and driver Kevin Harvick. At this time, Gil Martin (Harvick’s current crew chief) position remains to be determined.

As the season winds down and plans become clearer for 2012, I am sure there will be many more changes, so stayed tuned to Skirts and Scuffs for all the updates.
Silly Season Silliness Strikes the Crew Chiefs Silly Season Silliness Strikes the Crew Chiefs Reviewed by Unknown on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 Rating: 5