Shane Wilson has been named the crew chief of the No. 29 Budweiser/Rheem/Jimmy John’s team with driver Kevin Harvick for the 2012 season. Wilson has previously been with the No. 33 team of Clint Bowyer for the past three seasons. Gill Martin, who has been with the No. 29 team since May 2009, has been named director of team operations.
Wilson and Harvick have worked together in 2006 to earn 10 wins, 24 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes in the Nationwide series en-route to winning the championship. The team had an 824-point margin of victory, creating a new series record.
Steve Addington, the No. 22 crew chief for the 2011 season, is taking his talent to the No. 14 team of Tony Stewart for the 2012 season. Addington has served as crew chief for Bobby Labonte (2005), J.J. Yeley (2006-2007), Kyle Busch (2008-race No. 33 of 2009) and Kurt Busch (2010-2011) during his Sprint Cup career. Twelve wins were scored with Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing and four wins with Brother Kurt during while working with Penske Racing.
It came as a bit of a shock when Stewart’s crew chief Darian Grubb announced at Homestead that he was released from the team at the end of the 2011 season. The news of him leaving Stewart-Haas came shortly after he led the team to winning the Championship. As of now, Grubb has not announced what team he will be with next year.
The garage rumors say that he may rejoin his former co-workers at Hendrick Motorsports, possibly as a crew chief for one of the team’s four cars. Team owner Rick Hendrick told reporters during a teleconference Monday morning that his crew chief lineup is set for 2012. However, Hendrick did admit to making Grubb another offer to rejoin the team.
Rumors have been confirmed this week that Drew Blickensderfer will join Richard Childress Racing next year to crew chief the No. 31 team with driver Jeff Burton. Luke Lambert, interim crew chief during the closing weeks of the 2011 season, will remain at RCR in a yet-to-be announced position.
Blickensderfer is leaving Roush Fenway racing after nearly ten years with the team, most recently as the crew chief of the No. 6 team with driver David Ragan.