New Teams Need New Crews

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BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) - Now that most of the big-name drivers in
NASCAR's Sprint Cup series are under contract for 2009, the silly
season has turned to crew chiefs and engineers.
There were published reports Saturday that Darien Grubb,
engineering manager for the Nos. 5 and 88 Chevrolets at Hendrick
Motorsports, has been offered the crew chief's job for Tony Stewart
at his new Stewart-Haas Racing team that will begin Cup competition
next season.
It was first reported on
A spokesman for Hendrick said the team does not comment on
rumors, while Mike Arning, spokesman for Stewart's new team, said,
"Stewart-Haas Racing has had, and will continue to have,
discussions with numerous people regarding leadership positions
within the team, including crew chiefs for the Nos. 4 and 14 teams.
At this point, no decisions have been made in regard to filling
those positions."
Stewart, who announced Friday he has hired Ryan Newman as his
teammate for 2009, also said it's no secret that he and his team
are looking for more top personnel.
"We're working to not get just one crew chief, we're working to
get a pair of crew chiefs that ... are going to work well
together," Stewart said Friday. "It helps us work together better
as drivers and keeps the organization just that much more intact.
"I've seen multicar organizations that the crew chiefs were in
different directions with each other, and they don't utilize the
opportunity of what a two-car team is all about in the right way."
Stewart said he and Joe Custer, general manager of what is still
Haas CNC Racing at this point, are working hard to sign the right
people as quickly as possible.
"We've been in a lot of meetings in the last four weeks with a
lot of different people from different organizations that have come
to us wanting to be a part of this," Stewart said. "Joe has been
a huge part of that. You know, it's just talking to the right
Stewart said the signing of Daytona 500 winner Newman is going
to draw even more good people to the new team.
"It's nice having options," he said. "That just gives us that
many more options and people to choose from."
Stewart said there's still a lot of work to do.
"But it is coming together," he added. "We are getting people
hired. We have commitments from people that we're currently working
on contracts right now that are some key people that we think are
really going to be able to help us build this program."

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