NASCAR

Edwards picks up new crew chief

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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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CHARLOTTE, N.C.

Roush Fenway Racing will have a new look in 2013.

Veteran crew chief Jimmy Fennig will move to the No. 99 team with driver Carl Edwards as FOXSports.com reported early Wednesday. Fennig replaces Chad Norris, who filled in after Bob Osborne stepped down in July due to health concerns. Norris is expected to oversee the No. 60 Nationwide Series team.

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Fennig most recently guided 2003 Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth to his eighth Chase for the Sprint Cup berth and his second Daytona 500 victory. Kenseth is currently sixth in the point standings and has posted three wins this season despite his lame duck status.

After losing the 2011 Sprint Cup title in a tiebreaker, Edwards has struggled this season to regain his swagger. Although he signed a stout contract with Roush Fenway Racing last year, Edwards is currently 15th in the points standings and hasn’t won a race since the 2011 Las Vegas event — 68 races ago.

Scott Graves, who has been working as Edwards’ team engineer, will take the reins for Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s rookie campaign. Stenhouse, the defending Nationwide Series champion, currently holds a 20-point lead over Elliott Sadler with the season finale this weekend a Homestead Miami Speedway.

“We are excited about this change on both fronts,” team owner Jack Roush said. “Pairing two highly successful veterans like Carl and Jimmy should be quite a matchup and it is our expectation based on what Jimmy has been able to accomplish with many high profile drivers, that it will provide the spark to get the No. 99 program and Carl back into championship form.

“However, we are particularly excited about teaming up Scott Graves and Ricky. Through his extensive research and development work, Scott has an excellent understanding of the new 2013 body style. In his short time as a crew chief he has demonstrated a cunning knack as a leader on the pit box and he is going to be a great match for Ricky as he makes his move upwards into the Sprint Cup ranks.”

Tagged: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Carl Edwards

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