Steve Addington has a new home just days after leaving Penske Racing. Sources have told the Frontstretch Addington has a three-year deal signed, sealed, and delivered to be the new crew chief for Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing, although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The announcement was made late this morning through a press release.
“I know Steve well and I know how he goes about setting up a racecar,” said Stewart in making the move, 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 replaces championship crew chief Darian Grubb, who was informed halfway through the Chase his services would no longer be needed at the No. 14 car. Still, he and Stewart went on to win the title by winning five of Sprint Cup’s ten postseason races, beating out Carl Edwards through the wins tiebreaker in a nail-biting conclusion to the season. Grubb’s future with the team, if any is unknown, although the Competition Director position remains unfilled at SHR. Greg Zipadelli, according to several sources has been the frontrunner for that job but has been unable to secure a release from his Joe Gibbs Racing contract. Signed through 2012, those sources say the former crew chief for Stewart and current head wrench for Joey Logano has met with strong internal opposition from J.D. Gibbs to secure his release.
Addington’s move gives him a third driver to work with in the last four years of Sprint Cup competition. Kyle Busch’s crew chief through late 2009, he moved over to Penske and brother Kurt for the last two seasons, scoring four wins and two Chase appearances but failing to finish inside the top 10 in the final standings. Overall, he’s collected sixteen victories atop the pit box and three postseason appearances, but has never finished better than 10th in points with a driver.
“Tony and I are a lot alike and we’re able to push each other,” Addington said of his new partner in crime. “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.”
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