Burton gets new crew chief

Richard Childress Racing has named Drew Blickensderfer crew chief for Jeff Burton’s NASCAR Sprint Cup entry for the 2012 season.

Blickensderfer most recently worked with Roush Fenway Racing and driver David Ragan, who he led to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup win at Daytona International Speedway this July.

FOXSports.com first reported the move on Nov. 22.

Luke Lambert, interim crew chief during the latter part of the 2011 season for the team, will assume an as yet-to-be announced position at RCR.

Blickensderfer begins his RCR career after nearly a decade with Roush Fenway Racing. He has been a crew chief in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series since 2007.

"I’m excited about the move to RCR and the opportunity to help lead Jeff Burton and the Cat/Wheaties Racing team back into Chase contention," Blickensderfer said. "I was around Jeff briefly at RFR and always admired and liked him. He’s a very talented driver and I look forward to working him and the rest of the No. 31 team in 2012."

Burton qualified for the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup from 2006-2008 and 2010. He finished 20th in the final 2011 driver championship points standings.

"Drew is a strong leader and will be a great complement to the Caterpillar/Wheaties Racing team," said Childress. "He’s won some big races, including the 2009 Daytona 500, his first race as a Sprint Cup Series crew chief. There’s every reason to believe the combination of Jeff and Drew will be a successful one."

Richard "Slugger" Labbe will remain as the crew chief for Paul Menard. The organization announced previously that crew chief Shane Wilson will move from Clint Bowyer’s team, which is not going to race in 2012, to the same role with Kevin Harvick. Gil Martin, Harvick’s crew chief since May 2009 and a crew chief at RCR since August 2000, has been named director of team operations.

Further personnel changes within RCR’s competition department will be announced in the coming weeks.