CONCORD, N.C. — With Matt Kenseth leaving Roush Fenway Racing and Carl Edwards mired in a season-long slump, the team has announced a crew chief change it hopes will push Edwards back into contention for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2013.
Veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig, who has spent recent seasons working with Kenseth, will lead Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Roush Fenway team next season.
With Ricky Stenhouse Jr. taking over the No. 17 Ford from Kenseth, up-and-coming crew chief Scott Graves will lead the Nationwide Series champion’s pursuit of rookie-of-the-year honors.
“We are excited about this change on both fronts,” said team owner Jack Roush. “Pairing two highly successful veterans like Carl and Jimmy should be quite a matchup and it is our expectation based on what Jimmy has been able to accomplish with many high profile drivers, that it will provide the spark to get the No. 99 program and Carl back into championship form.
“However, we are particularly excited about teaming up Scott Graves and Ricky. Through his extensive research and development work, Scott has an excellent understanding of the new 2013 body style. In his short time as a crew chief he has demonstrated a cunning knack as a leader on the pit box and he is going to be a great match for Ricky as he makes his move upwards into the Sprint Cup ranks.”
Fennig, one of the most accomplished crew chiefs in NASCAR history, boasts a tenure that includes more than 800 starts and 36 Sprint Cup victories.
Graves is one of the fastest rising names in the sport, having led Edwards to a Nationwide Series victory in his first race as a crew chief at Watkins Glen earlier this season. He followed that up by leading Billy Johnson to a near victory at Montreal, and Trevor Bayne to a pole at Bristol.