Richard Childress Racing expanding workforce Steve Addington leaving Kurt Busch
By Lee SpencerFoxSports
Steve Addington finally came clean with Kurt Busch on Monday.
Busch said Addington called him around 4 p.m. Monday afternoon to inform the driver he was “indeed leaving” the team. Penske Racing president Tim Cindric later addressed the change.
"Steve Addington is no longer with our organization," Cindric said. "We appreciate the successes we experienced together and wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Addington is expected to join Stewart-Haas Racing as crew chief for the No. 14 team and Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart.
Busch led the points after the race at Bristol Motor Speedway in March and entered the Chase seventh in the standings. Busch jumped up to fourth after winning at Dover International Speedway, but in the final three races of the season, the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge ran out of fuel in the races at Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway and then broke a drive shaft last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The team’s troubles in the last three races knocked Busch from eighth to 11th in the standings.
While several NASCAR organizations are downsizing their operations, Richard Childress Racing is expanding.
On Monday night, Richard Childress said that despite fielding only three full-time Sprint Cup squads in 2012, the absorption of the Kevin Harvick, Inc. teams will not only increase his workforce, but the team owner anticipates adding approximately 10 new employees. As other teams lighten their rosters, Childress sees that as an opportunity to upgrade certain positions.
On Tuesday, RCR is expected to announce Drew Blickensderfer as the crew chief for the No. 31 Caterpillar team and driver Jeff Burton. Blickensderfer toured the shops in Welcome, NC, on Monday, according to sources. Shane Wilson will move from the No. 33 team to the No. 29 squad with driver Kevin Harvick.
Wilson has been with RCR since 2006, when he led the No. 21 Nationwide Series team to 10 victories and the title. He was named crew chief for Clint Bowyer during the 2009 season, and the pair won three races together.
Blickensderfer, 35, worked his way through the ranks at Roush Fenway Racing over the past nine seasons, first as a rear-tire changer and mechanic and then most recently crew chief for the No. 6 Ford and driver David Ragan.
Blickensderfer was not part of this week’s layoffs at Roush. On Monday, Robbie Reiser announced to his staff that RFR was cutting its workforce by one-third.