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Carl Edwards Gets New Crew Chief

| , RacinToday.com Tuesday, July 17 2012

Crew chief Bob Osborne and Carl Edwards have split. (File photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Officials at Roush Fenway Racing announced Tuesday that Chad Norris has replaced Bob Osborne as crew chief of the No. 99 car, which is driven by Carl Edwards.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Carl Edwards for the past nine years and, during that time, my focus has been building a championship-caliber program,” Osborne said. “I’m proud of the 18 wins we’ve had together in Sprint Cup Series competition and our two second-place points finishes.

“At this time in my life, however, concerns with my health have necessitated that I change my role within the organization,” Osborne added. “This transition is not an easy one, but I’m thankful to have the full support of Jack, Carl and the entire organization. I also have every confidence in Chad Norris, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to pursue a championship in 2012. I also appreciate the privacy and respect that the community will give me and my family during this difficult time.”

Osborne was Edwards’ first crew chief for his Sprint Cup debut in 2004, and the two have combined for 18 wins and two runner-up finishes in season-ending Sprint Cup Series point standings.

Last season, Edwards tied Tony Stewart in the season-ending point standings but lost the championship on a tie-breaker as Stewart had more race victories.

In terms of race victories, Edwards had his best season with Osborne in 2008 when they won a series-best nine times.

This year, Osborne and Edwards have gone winless. Edwards is 11th in points and has just two top-five finishes in 19 starts.

“I cannot say enough good things about Bob Osborne,” said Edwards. “I’m so thankful for what he’s done for me as a driver, and he is without a doubt one of the smartest guys in the sport. I’m also appreciative of the fact that he’ll continue to be a resource for me and our team as we focus on these final races. We’re very fortunate to have Chad Norris as part of our organization to take over for the No. 99. I’ve known Chad for a long time and he is a fierce competitor. We’ve got our work cut out for us over the next seven races, and I’ve got every confidence Chad can lead our team to where we need to be.”

Roush Fenway driver Matt Kenseth is the current Sprint Cup points leader, while teammate Greg Biffle is third.

Norris has been with Roush Fenway Racing since 2005, and since 2011 has led Roush Fenway’s research and development test program that has seen him serve as crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., in his limited Sprint Cup Series schedule and Trevor Bayne in his limited Nationwide Series schedule.

Norris’ first role as crew chief at Roush Fenway came in 2005 with the No. 17 Nationwide Series team. In his eight years with Roush Fenway, Norris has led multiple teams to victory lane, including Bayne’s inaugural Nationwide Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in November of 2011.

“Our commitment to winning a championship with the No. 99 in 2012 has not waivered,” said team owner Jack Roush. “I’m committed to providing the resources to Carl and to his team to do that, and this restructuring of Bob’s role and the introduction of Chad Norris as the crew chief for the No. 99 will put us in the best possible position for these final seven races before the ‘Chase’ begins.”

| , RacinToday.com Tuesday, July 17 2012
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