Besides the obvious changes with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. moving up to the Sprint Cup Series to replace the departing Matt Kenseth [who is leaving for Joe Gibbs Racing], Roush-Fenway Racing will be making a few other changes to give the team a new look in 2013.
Today Roush-Fenway Racing announced that veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig will not return to the 17 team and lead Stenhouse’s Cup Series debut efforts. Fennig will be moving over to the #99 team and work with Carl Edwards in efforts to get him back into a championship contending position next season.
So where does Chad Norris his current crew chief go? Well, he will be leading the efforts of Roush’s second Nationwide Series team the #60. Many rumors say that Travis Pastrana will be the driver for the car and will be renumbered to 99.
Chad Norris replaced Bob Osbourne who had served as crew chief for Edwards for many seasons. Osbourne left his role as crew chief citing health concerns. There must be a great deal of concern still for his health as he will not return in a crew chief role in 2013…yet.
Edward’s current team engineer, Scott Graves, will move over to the #17 team and lead Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in his Sprint Cup Series rookie season serving as his crew chief.
These are changes being made to give Stenhouse a solid backing for his first full-time season in the big leagues and to get Edwards back on track who has slacked in 2012 after nearly winning the championship last season.
Fennig has had a storied career including this past season where he has made Matt Kenseth a winner and moved him up to 6th in the Chase for the Cup despite being a lame duck driver.