Changes appear to be in the air at Michael Waltrip Racing.
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Pat Tryson, crew chief for driver Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 56 Toyota, has been replaced by Chad Johnston, multiple sources told FOXSports.com.
Despite an initial denial by Michael Waltrip Racing general manager Cal Wells, the team acknowledged the move in a press release Tuesday afternoon.
Johnston, a former engineer with Gillett Evernham Motorsports, joined the Waltrip organization in 2009
“This is a good opportunity for me since this is the direction I have always wanted to go in my NASCAR career," said Johnston in the release. "Michael Waltrip Racing is a good organization to work with as we have assembled a strong NAPA Racing team and a more-than-capable driver.
"My goal is the same goal that this team set at the start of 2011 and that goal is to win races and try to get in the top 10 in points.”
Tryson, 47, joined MWR at the start of the 2010 season after a successful run with Kurt Busch at Penske Racing. The veteran crew chief also has enjoyed stints with Roush Racing and the Wood Brothers.
The Malvern, Pa., native started his NASCAR career with Kenny Bernstein at King Racing. He first became a crew chief for Geoff Bodine in 1997.
Tryson is in the second year of a three-year contract. There was no indication what his new role might be.
Truex, 30, has one win in 202 career Sprint Cup starts. He is 21st in points in his second season at MWR. Truex finished 22nd in the standings in 2010.