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Plenty of crew chief shuffling

Plenty of crew chief shuffling

Plenty of crew chief shuffling
May 27, 2007

Aside from Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s pending departure, the driver market has been quiet thus far. Not so for crew chiefs. Pat Tryson was fired by Roush Fenway Racing and will be replaced on Greg Biffle's No. 16 Ford by Greg Erwin, a casualty at Robby Gordon Racing. Robby Gordon brought in Gene Nead as crew chief. After NASCAR lifted David Hyder's indefinite suspension--the result of the fuel system scandal with Michael Waltrip Racing at Daytona--Hyder hooked up with Bill Davis Racing, where he'll call the shots for Jeremy Mayfield. MWR recently relieved Matt Borland of his crew chief duties on Dale Jarrett's car. Borland's replacement on Jarrett's No. 44 Toyota, Jason Burdett, had a successful debut: Jarrett qualified for the Coca-Cola 600 last weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway after failing to do so the previous two races. Burdett and Jarrett worked together previously at Robert Yates Racing. . . .

Is the jinx on the No. 25 car ending? The car, long the redheaded stepchild of the Hendrick Motorsports organization, made it to victory lane for the second time in two years when Casey Mears won the Coca-Cola 600. Both times, first-time Cup race winners were behind the wheel. Mears' win brings some satisfaction to what already is a lost season. Maybe he'll ride the momentum to a points finish in the teens. The Chase is already out of the question. . . .

Brian Vickers salvaged a top five finish out of an up-and-down performance in the 600. It was Toyota's first top five of the season. His car was the strongest Toyota has had all year. Lowe's has been a key track throughout Vickers' career. He ran his first Cup race there, and two years ago he learned a valuable lesson from Bill Elliott about patience. To that point, Vickers hadn't shown much. But a talk with Elliott after Vickers wrecked him proved helpful. . . .

Wondering who will be strong at Dover? A good place to look is Bristol. The two tracks are very similar; insiders refer to Dover as Bristol on steroids. Dover, like Bristol, is a Car of Tomorrow race. Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won all five COT races so far.

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