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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]
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 1, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 1, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, does a burn out after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 1, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, takes the chequered flag while winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 1, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, leads during the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 race, at Iowa Speedway on August 1, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, will be on the front row after qualifying for second position Friday, July 31, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, July 31, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Dillon is 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, July 31, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Stewart is 26th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for sixth position Friday, July 31, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Busch is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 Maxwell House Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, speak in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway on July 31, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, poses with the trophy in Victory Lane with wife Samantha and son Brexton Locke after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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