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Grubb joins JGR as Hamlin's crew chief

Ford, 42, has worked as a crew chief in the sport since 2000 - six and a half years of them with Hamlin - and he has claimed a share of 21 victories. It's unclear whether he has any prospects for a new job in NASCAR, talking instead of "maybe venturing into something else and starting over" and simply commenting: “I wish they would have given me a head's up instead of [leaving it] this late."

Among the posts still to be filled are a new crew chief for the #22 once a replacement for former driver Kurt Busch is signed up, and also a crew chief for Danica Patrick's #10 car at Stewart-Haas Racing for her limited run of ten Sprint Cup appearances.

Pattie joins MWR as Bowyer's crew chief

Another crew chief position was also confirmed this week, when Brian Pattie was announced as Clint Bowyer's crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing.

Bowyer is moving to MWR after eight years with Richard Childress Racing, and the team have signed up the experienced Pattie to make his new venture a successful one from the get-go.

“I'm really happy to get him,” said Bowyer. “He's somebody I got a lot of confidence in. He's a young, aggressive crew chief. His work ethic is very good, and I think that's why he gets the results that he does."

Pattie was most recently crew chief on the #42 car at Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing working with driver Juan Montoya, but he was moved aside by EGR in the summer after a lacklustre season for the Colombian. Jim Pohlman took over on an interim basis but there was little upturn in Montoya's showing, and the #42 has now found a new crew chief for 2012 in the form of Chris Heroy, former team engineer at Hendrick Motorsports.

Pattie's existing contract with EGR finally expired at the end of November allowing him to take up the new offer from MWR. Pattie insisted that there were no bad feelings with his old team and he admitted that: "It was a time for a change over there to try to stimulate some performance ... My contract was up this year anyways, so it was better to start building a team midyear."

As for his own new challenge, Pattie said that the decision to move to MWR "was basically a no-brainer for me ... There's been a lot of phone calls and I talked to Clint, and I felt this was the best opportunity for myself to showcase my talents and help build a team and help them move forward the best that I can."

Blickensderfer moves to RCR at crew chief for Jeff Burton

Jeff Burton will have his #31 team led by Drew Blickensderfer in 2012, after Richard Childress Racing announced at the end of November that they had succeeded in tempting Blickensderfer from Roush Fenway Racing where he had been crew chief for David Ragan on the #6.

With that car team looking set to be wound up - and Ragan in the frame to move to Penske Racing and take over the #22 vacated by Kurt Busch - Blickensderfer has opted to take up the chance to work with Burton next season.




Related Pictures

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Clint Bowyer, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke, Getty Images for NASCAR]
Todd Berrier, pit crew chief for the #31 car driven by Jeff Burton. November 2010. [Picture credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Jeff Burton - Richard Childress Racing [Pic credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty for NASCAR]
Denny Hamlin - Joe Gibbs Racing [Pic credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty for NASCAR]
Denny Hamlin celebrates winning the Heluva Good Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway, his first victory of 2011. [Picture Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
The victorious Stewart-Haas Racing team celebrate winning the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Stewart-Haas Racing crew chief Darian Grubb monitoring the fuel-injection tests at Texas in November. [Picture credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, leads Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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