Kurt Busch said Friday his crew chief will leave Penske Racing at the end of the season.
Busch said Pat Tryson told him this week he would move to a different team in 2010.
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“The timing isn’t all that good, and it never is any good when you want to change direction in life,” Busch said at Richmond International Raceway.
Tryson has declined to discuss his future plans, but he’s believed to be going to Michael Waltrip Racing to crew chief for Martin Truex Jr. The decision was apparently made several weeks ago, but not publicized so the team could focus on the Chase for the championship.
Truex wouldn’t take questions about the potential pairing.
“I can not,” he answered, when asked to confirm Tryson’s hiring.
Busch heads into Saturday night’s race at Richmond, the final qualifier for the 12-driver field, ranked seventh in the standings. Barring a disaster, the 2004 Chase winner will be eligible to run for a second championship.
But he’ll have to do it with a lame-duck crew chief calling the shots.
“It seems as if our focus right now should be the Chase and making it in the Chase,” Busch said. “It was a tough week for that type of news. It’s a change that’s going to happen. It’s unfortunate that Pat made that type of decision.”
Busch would not discuss why Tryson is leaving.
Busch was highly critical of Tryson’s adjustments during the March race at Martinsville, and team owner Roger Penske had to intervene in a tense exchange over their live radio. Busch and Penske bickered, while Tryson sat silently on the pit box, shaking his head in frustration.