Veteran crew chief Richard 'Slugger' Labbe has parted with TRG Motorsports to become crew chief for the #98 Ford driven by Paul Menard, according to a report.

TRG Motorsports owner Kevin Buckler confirmed Labbe's departure late last week.

The #98 Menard car is part of a merger under which Richard Petty Motorsports will absorb Yates Racing, which fields Menard's car.

The result will be a four-car team under the RPM banner, featuring drivers Kasey Kahne, AJ Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler and Menard. The team will field Fords in 2010, with power supplied by Roush-Yates engines.

Meanwhile in a separate development, if Ron Hornaday Jr. is to add to his record four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships in 2010 - the last of which came this year - he'll have to do so without veteran crew chief Rick Ren.

Kevin Harvick Inc., which fields trucks for Hornaday, announced Thursday last week that Ren was leaving the organisation to 'pursue opportunities elsewhere in the sport'.

Ren reportedly will take a management job with a new truck series team owned by Kyle Busch, who for the last five years has driven selected races in trucks fielded by Billy Ballew - for the love of competition, not for money.

As to Ren's replacement, Harvick said the announcement of a new crew chief for Hornaday could come as early as this week.

by Reid Spencer / Sporting News