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Turner Motorsports Announces Crew Swap

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, August 22 2012

James Buescher has a new crew chief. (Chris Graythen for Getty Images)

Turner Motorsports owner Steve Turner has announced that his organization’s No. 30 and No. 38 NASCAR Nationwide Series teams immediately will interchange their entire crews – including crew chiefs – in an effort to evaluate performance and prepare for the 2013 season.

Trent Owens, who has led James Buescher and Nelson Piquet Jr. to NNS victories this season, will take over as crew chief for the No. 38 Great Clips team with drivers Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet. A former driver himself, Owens is a longtime fixture in the NASCAR garage. The Darlington, S.C., native has been successful working with a variety of drivers with different levels of experience and has visited victory lane with both rookies and veterans including Buescher, Piquet. Jr., Mark Martin, Dave Blaney and Reed Sorenson.

Mike Hillman Jr., who joined the organization this season to lead Miguel Paludo’s efforts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will take charge as crew chief of the No. 30 team, which features myriad drivers. Hillman Jr. has served as an NCWTS crew chief since 2005, compiling two championships, 19 wins, 81 top-five and 107 top-10 finishes in 185 races atop the pit box. Hillman Jr.’s most recent NNS event as crew chief was with Paludo at Road America in June.

The changes are part of an ongoing process by Turner Motorsports, which has logged five NCWTS and six NNS wins since September 2010, to gauge performance and ensure that the right people are in-place to win races and championships.

“We have a responsibility to all of our marketing partners to consistently be doing everything we can do to make our programs stronger,” Turner said in a statement. “This personnel change is an effective way to evaluate each team’s strengths and to build upon them as we prepare to contend for a Nationwide Series championship in 2013.”

Turner Motorsports’ marketing partners include Great Clips, BRANDT, Exide, AccuDoc Solutions, Wolfpack Rentals, Fraternal Order of Eagles ABF Freight, Qualcomm, Duroline Brakes and Koike Aronson Ransome.

Established in 1999 by Turner, a Texas businessman, the organization expanded in 2011 from a two-truck operation in the Camping World Truck Series to become the largest stand-alone, multi-series team in NASCAR’s top-tier touring series.

Turner Motorsports operates out of an 110,000 square-foot facility in Mooresville, N.C. The Chevrolet-backed team has created alliances with General Motors’ partner Hendrick Motorsports, which provides engine support for both its NNS and NCWTS programs, and Earnhardt Technology Group for drivetrain and suspension assistance.

John Sturbin | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Wednesday, August 22 2012
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