For all their talk all season long about not making a change for the sake of making a change it seems that Rick Hendrick has decided that change must be exactly what he needs. 3 out of 4 of the Hendrick owned teams are getting a shuffle on the pit box. Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin will all swap crew chiefs for the 2011 Sprint Cup Season. In the announcement made on Tuesday this week has Steve Letarte moving to the #88 team of Dale Jr., Lance McGrew moving to the #5 team of Mark Martin which leaves Alan Gustafson who will be Crew Chief for the #24 car piloted by Jeff Gordon. The team of Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus will be left unchanged due to their incredible success for the past 5 seasons.
Fans are hoping that this should breathe new life into Earnhardt’s racing efforts after suffering 93 win less starts over the past 2 seasons. Earnhardt’s last win came at the spring race in Michigan in June of 2008. He has had a few top 5 finishes, most recently his 4th at Daytona in July at the Coke Zero 400, 4th at the Sylvania 300 in September at Loudon and his memorable 2nd place finish at the Daytona 500 where he drove from 10th to 2nd looking very much like his Daddy as he moved through the field determined to get to the front.Troubled Richard Petty Motorsports team made an announcement of howthe team will survive and the shape that it will take in the 2011 Sprint Cup season.. The announcement that they have found the necessary funding for next season came yesterday, and that the financier wiill be George Gillett Jr. In order for this to work Richard Petty announced that they will be only running 2 cars next year. The cars will be driven by A.J. Allmendinger in the #43 car and Marcos Ambrose in the #9 Ford. Gone from the roster are Elliot Sadler (#19) who is leaving when his contract expires and Paul Menard (#98)
“Currently we are concentrating on building 2 solid programs with Allmendinger behind the wheel of the #43 entry and Marcos Ambrose in the #9 Ford” said Petty in a team statement.