Race Weekend Central

Crew Chief, NNS Changes For Joe Gibbs Racing

There are no changes to Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sprint Cup driver lineup for 2012, but several key positions changed hands, bringing two new crew chiefs to the fold as well as giving Michael McDowell an expanded Nationwide Series role. McDowell will run a limited schedule in the No. 18 NNS Pizza Ranch car while Brian Scott returns to that series full time in 2012 with sponsorship from Dollar General. In addition, development driver Darrell Wallace, Jr. will race a few select Nationwide races. Kyle Busch will not race in the Nationwide Series for JRG at all this yer, but will make 15 starts in his own car. Busch will not race in the Camping World Truck Series this year, though he will field the No. 18 for Jason Leffler and possibly other drivers to be announced later.

In the Cup garage, Jason Ratcliffe will take over crew chief duties for Joey Logano after the departure of Greg Zipadelli to Stewart-Haas Racing and reigning Cup champion crew chief Darian Grubb takes the reins for the No. 11 team and driver Denny Hamlin. Dave Rogers and Kyle Busch enter 2012 as the only pair to have worked together in 2011. Hamlin says that his confidence level is at an all-time high as new racecars and a new crew chief give Hamlin a renewed faith in his program. For Logano, it will be the chance to make the No. 20 team his own for the first time since Tony Stewart left JGR to form Stewart-Haas Racing. On the sponsor front, Dollar General will join Home Depot as a primary sponsor of the No. 20.

Joe Gibbs told the media that all of the team’s 2011 sponsors have signed to return for 2012, providing stability for the entire team.

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