Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Wednesday Media Scramble
Lots of folks are on vacation. Some are just heading out of town for Thanksgiving and still others planning on a half day at work on Wednesday. As usual, these are the times when the big off-season NASCAR stories break.
In this case, it was late Tuesday afternoon when word came of the crew chief changes and team shuffles at Hendrick Motorsports.
Here is the brief official announcement:
Hendrick Motorsports has made personnel adjustments in preparation for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, with drivers Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. being teamed with new crew chiefs.
Below are the driver-crew chief pairings for each Hendrick Motorsports car, effective immediately:
No. 5 Chevrolet
Driver: Mark Martin
Crew Chief: Lance McGrew
No. 24 Chevrolet
Driver: Jeff Gordon
Crew Chief: Alan Gustafson
No. 48 Chevrolet
Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Crew Chief: Chad Knaus
No. 88 Chevrolet
Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Crew Chief: Steve Letarte
The cars of Martin and four-time Sprint Cup champion Gordon will be fielded out of the same facility, now known as the 5/24 shop. Earnhardt Jr.'s Chevrolets will be prepared out of the renamed 48/88 shop alongside those of five-time and defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.
"This will improve us as an organization, across the board," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We had a championship season (in 2010), but we weren't where we wanted and needed to be with all four teams. We've made the right adjustments, and I'm excited to go racing with this lineup."
Since ESPN2's NASCAR Now was already done for the season, that left only SPEED's Race Hub to offer TV information. However, the Tuesday program had already been recorded so the only mention of this breaking news was a brief update from Steve Byrnes.
Race Hub does have a Wednesday show scheduled. Right now, it is supposed to be a conversation about the season with Mike Joy, Larry MrReynolds and Byrnes. SPEED tweeted that the show will now have more on the HMS shuffle. That's good news.
If Sirius 128, NASCAR.com, SPEED or ESPNEWS decides to carry the 10AM press conference live we will pass it along right here. It should be an interesting day to skip around the various NASCAR media outlets and see how this story is handled.
Update: Hendrick event is a teleconference. Info should appear online shortly after 10AM ET. Siruis channel 128 will carry the teleconference live and speak with Rick Hendrick after it is over.
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