Blickensderfer back on Edwards' Nationwide pit box
Drew Blickensderfer has replaced Mike Kelley as crew chief for Carl Edwards’ No. 60 Nationwide Series Ford, Roush Fenway Racing announced Tuesday.
The move comes a week after veteran Todd Parrott took over for Blickensderfer as crew chief for Matt Kenseth’s No. 17 Sprint Cup team.
Kelley takes on a new job title as competition director for Roush Fenway’s Nationwide Series program and, as such, will be responsible for the building of the cars and the transition from the current Nationwide car (Ford Fusion) to the new one (Ford Mustang), which will be phased into the series this year.
Before taking over Kenseth’s Cup team in 2009, Blickensderfer served as Edwards’ crew chief for the final 19 Nationwide races of 2008. Together they won seven times and rallied to challenge for the series championship before finishing second to Clint Bowyer by 21 points. Edwards closed the season with nine straight top-five finishes.
Blickensderfer won his first two races with Kenseth (including the 2009 Daytona 500), but the team has been winless since. Kenseth said last week at Fontana the team lacked a spark and he felt a change was necessary one race into the season.
On the other hand, Edwards and Blickensderfer clicked immediately after Blickensderfer replaced Pierre Kuettel on the Nationwide car in June 2008.
“Drew is a wonderful team builder,” team owner Jack Roush said. “He will bring Car of Tomorrow experience to the Nationwide shop. Carl and Drew have a strong track record together.”
Concurrent with Kelley’s promotion, Mike Beam will move from competition director for RFR’s Nationwide effort to the research-and-development department in Concord, N.C., with emphasis on the superspeedway program—essentially filling the position Parrott vacated when he became Kenseth’s crew chief.