Steve Addington Is Stewart’s New Crew Chief
Darian Grubb is out and Steve Addington is in as the Sprint Cup crew chief for 2011 champion Tony Stewart.
Addington, who spent the past season with Kurt Busch at Penske racing, was named crew chief of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 team of Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) effective immediately on Monday.
The Spartanburg, S.C., native is only the third crew chief Stewart has had during his 13-year Sprint Cup career, and it comes just a week after Stewart captured the 2011 Sprint Cup title.
He replaces Grubb, who has been Stewart’s crew chief since Stewart formed Stewart-Haas Racing three years ago.
“I know Steve well and I know how he goes about setting up a racecar,” said Stewart, who worked with Addington from 2005 through 2008 during his time at Joe Gibbs Racing. “My comfort level with him is already strong. He balances the technical part of our sport with the real-world experiences we get at the track, and that will allow for a smooth transition as we prepare to defend our title in 2012.”
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 ongoing Sprint Cup career. Twelve wins were scored with Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing and four wins were notched with older brother Kurt during his most recent tenure at Penske Racing.
Prior to rising to the elite Sprint Cup ranks, Addington spent 15 seasons as a crew chief in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, 11 of which came with driver Jason Keller where the duo won 10 races, 11 poles and scored 69 top-five and 122 top-10 finishes.
“Tony and I are a lot alike and we’re able to push each other,” Addington said. “I saw how he worked when we were at Gibbs together and I’m not surprised at all at the success he’s created at Stewart-Haas Racing. He expects a lot and he knows a lot. His talent behind the wheel is obvious, but his ability to motivate and get everyone to believe that whatever goal they set is attainable is something every crew chief wants, and I plan to make the most of it.”
“Steve has proven himself everywhere he’s been,” Stewart said. “Our expectation when we unload each weekend is to win, and that’s Steve’s expectation, too. Getting there is never easy, but we’ve both been around long enough to know what it takes to be successful.
“Darian was a very important part of the success we’ve had at Stewart-Haas Racing,” Stewart said. “I’m very proud of everything he helped accomplish, especially this year when we all rallied to win the championship. He’s a great person and I know he’ll continue to be successful in this sport.”No Comment