NASCAR

Crew chief change for Edwards

Lee Spencer: Change might be impetus the No. 99 team needs.
Lee Spencer: Change might be impetus the No. 99 team needs.
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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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Chad Norris has been named crew chief of the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford and driver Carl Edwards.

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Norris replaces Bob Osborne, who is stepping down due to health reasons. Osborne will remain with the organization as a senior member of the organization’s management team and steering committee.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Carl Edwards for the past nine years and, during that time, my focus has been building a championship-caliber program,” Osborne said. “I’m proud of the 18 wins we’ve had together in Sprint Cup Series competition and our two second-place points finishes.

“At this time in my life, however, concerns with my health have necessitated that I change my role within the organization. This transition is not an easy one, but I’m thankful to have the full support of (team owner) Jack (Roush), Carl and the entire organization. I also have every confidence in Chad Norris, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to pursue a championship in 2012. I also appreciate the privacy and respect that the community will give me and my family during this difficult time.”

Osborne has been a Cup crew chief with Roush Fenway Racing since he led the No. 99 Ford and Jeff Burton at the fifth race of the 2004 season. Edwards replaced Burton for the final 13 races of the season.

Together, Osborne and Edwards won 18 races together and tied for first place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup last season. Tony Stewart won the title on a tie-breaker.

“I cannot say enough good things about Bob Osborne,” Edwards said. “I’m so thankful for what he’s done for me as a driver, and he is without a doubt one of the smartest guys in the sport. I’m also appreciative of the fact that he’ll continue to be a resource for me and our team as we focus on these final races.

"We’re very fortunate to have Chad Norris as part of our organization to take over for the No. 99. I’ve known Chad for a long time and he is a fierce competitor. We’ve got our work cut out for us over the next seven races, and I’ve got every confidence Chad can lead our team to where we need to be.”

Pit bulls

NASCAR Cup crew chiefs bring varying levels of experience to the role.

However, the team has not won a race since Las Vegas last year – 52 races ago. Edwards is currently 11th in the point standings.

Norris has been with Roush since 2005. He worked as a crew chief primarily in the Camping World Truck and Nationwide series. He was crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Daytona this year. Norris has three wins in the Nationwide Series with Matt Kenseth (2005) and last season with Marcos Ambrose and Trevor Bayne.

Since 2011, Norris has been running Roush Fenway's research and development department.

Tagged: Carl Edwards

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