After missing last weekend's Banquet 400 at the Kansas Speedway for personal reasons, James Ince has asked for, and been granted his release from crew-chief duties of Johnny Benson's #10 Valvoline MBV Motorsport Pontiac.

Valvoline Racing announced on Tuesday that Jay Guy will serve as crew chief of the #10 Valvoline Pontiac for the remainder of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season.

Guy and driver Johnny Benson worked together Sunday at Kansas where Benson ran as high as third before an accident less than 20 laps from the finish of the 267-lap event.

"There are still several races left in the season and we want to end the season on a high note by running well," Guy said. "We hope we can defend our win at Rockingham and we have a Homestead tire test planned so we have a busy time coming up. This is a good race team and we think the hard work will pay dividends before the end of the year."

Team General Manager Jay Frye said Ince's tenure will be remembered for its success.

"James has done a lot in helping our organization grow and his efforts are much appreciated. He will always be known here as the crew chief who brought us our first victory," Frye said. "But, we think Jay Guy can be the person that helps bring us our second victory. Jay has worked hard for this team and we feel fortunate we have someone of his calibre ready to take over the controls of the team."

Ince and Benson's first race came at Daytona in 2000 when their white car nearly won the Daytona 500. The pair won at Rockingham in 2002 and posted 13 top-five and 30 top-ten finishes together.

Benson is 26th in 2003 driver points.

Benson said he obviously has mixed feelings about the change.

"James Ince is a very good friend of mine and we have been through a lot together since 2000," Benson said. "Somebody somewhere is going to get a good crew chief. But, things change in this sport and I'm really looking forward to working with Jay. We did well Sunday not just in the race but also in our communication and everyone's attitude was really positive. We still have a goal of winning a race and I think it would be awesome if we could do that this season."

Guy's duties begin this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.

Valvoline Racing is owned by Valvoline and MB2 Motorsports. MB2 Motorsports owns all of the #01 U.S. Army team.



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