Kurt Busch confirmed Friday at Richmond International Raceway that crew chief Pat Tryson, who has been with the #2 Penske Racing Dodge team since July 2007, would leave the organisation at the end of the season.
"Yeah, it's a change that's going to happen," Busch acknowledged. "It's unfortunate that Pat made that type of decision. It seems like our focus should be on the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup), so it's a tough week for that type of news.
"That's really where my focus is. No matter who I'm working with or communicating with, we have to get the Miller Lite Dodge in the Chase and get off to a great start once we do that."
Michael Waltrip Racing is expected to announce next week that Tryson will join that organisation as crew chief for the #56 Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr. next year.
Tryson declined to comment on the reports. Truex also refused to confirm that Tryson will be his crew chief next year.
"The timing isn't all that good, but it never is any good when you want to change directions in life," Busch said, when asked whether he was angry at Tryson for the timing of his crew chief's decision. "I did that in 2005 at Roush Racing. There's never really a good time to bring things up, but I can't be disappointed in Pat or upset with Pat.
"The way that we've had a great run together, and the way that he turned our programme around in 2007, it helped put him back on the map, too, so to speak."
The addition of Tryson to the team kick-started Busch's programme in 2007. In the nine races after Tryson's installation as crew chief, Busch finished no worse than 11th and won twice, at Pocono and Michigan.
Busch went on to qualify for the Chase that season, and after finishing 18th last year, he can lock up a Chase spot this year with a finish of 20th or better in Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400.
by Reid Spencer / Sporting News