NASCAR

Harvick to debut revamped pit crew

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Lee Spencer

Lee Spencer is the Senior NASCAR Writer for FOXSports.com. She has provided award-winning coverage of auto racing over the last 15 years. Spencer has lent her expertise to both television and radio and is a regular contributor to SiriusXM Radio and the Performance Racing Network. Follow her on Twitter.

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Kevin Harvick will have a revamped pit crew for 2011.

Although Harvick topped the NASCAR Sprint Cup points standings for 21 races throughout the regular season in 2010, he found himself in a battle to regain that footing once the rankings were reset for the Chase.

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Harvick, seeded third, remained in the hunt throughout the Chase for the Sprint Cup. However, his frustration with his pit crew mounted as he fell 77 points behind Jimmie Johnson following the October race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Richard Childress felt it was in the organization’s best interest to swap the pit crews of the Nos. 29 of Harvick and 33 of Clint Bowyer. With the chemistry and stability of the No. 33 pit crew, Harvick had the best pit crew RCR could offer for a championship.

When the season ended, the No. 33 crew returned to Bowyer. That presented pit-crew coordinator Matt Clark with the challenge of building a championship-caliber team for 2011.

Clark retained fueler Mike Morrison and long-time mechanic Mike Scearce, who will handle the windshield and other over-the-wall duties, but opted to make changes with the other positions.

RCR recruited the front tire carrier/changer combination of J.D. Holcomb and Kyle Turner from the No. 5 team at Hendrick Motorsports. The new rear tire carrier/changer pair of Bob Dowens and Zach Price pitted AJ Allmendinger’s No. 43 car at Richard Petty Motorsports. Jackman Eric Wilson was also previously with RPM, where he jacked the No. 9 Ford.

“We did a good job last year, we just need to be better,” Clark said. “We did a lot of work on the offseason and continue to do a lot more.”

Terry Spaulding and Erik Pringle, who were the front and rear tire carriers for Harvick last season, have joined the newly formed No. 27 crew with driver Paul Menard.

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