Kyle Busch, who hasn't won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race since August at Bristol, will get a new crew chief after Sunday's Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Joe Gibbs Racing announced Tuesday.
JGR has tapped Dave Rogers, crew chief for the organisation's #20 Nationwide Series car, to replace Steve Addington, who guided Busch to twelve victories in the Cup series in the #18 Toyota. Since winning eight of the first 22 races in 2008, however, Busch has four wins in 46 races and he failed to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this year.
Addington will be reassigned to another position within the organisation.
Rogers led the #20 team to the Nationwide Series owners championship last year with a roster of four drivers — Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Busch — who collectively posted nine victories and six poles. The #20 team has won five times this season under Rogers' leadership.
The crew chief change comes two days after Busch recorded his best Cup finish since Bristol, a fourth in the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville. Addington won the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award after his strategic pit calls helped Busch charge to the front from the 41st starting position.
“We evaluate all of our teams on an ongoing basis and believe this is a change that will make the #18 team stronger as we prepare for next season,” JGR president J.D. Gibbs said in a team release. “We think highly of Steve and the job he has done, and we look forward to him remaining a part of the JGR family.
“Dave has proven himself a talented crew chief, and we think he will work well with Kyle. We hope that by making the move following this weekend's race at Talladega they can use the final three weeks of this season to begin working on communication and setups for the 2010 season.”
by Reid Spencer/Sporting News