On Tuesday, Roush Fenway Racing announced its NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series crew chief lineup for 2014, and changes include reuniting Mike Kelley with 2013 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
“As with any season, we always sit down at the end of the year and evaluate where we are, what we have and what we think are the best options to put our teams in the best position to compete for wins and championships,” team owner Jack Roush said. “In this case, a reorganization that realigns Ricky and Mike, allows Scot (Graves) to work with Chris (Buescher) and reunites Chad (Norris) with Trevor (Bayne) made the most sense.”
Kelley led Stenhouse to two-consecutive Nationwide Series championships in 2011 and 2012. When Stenhouse made the move to Sprint Cup for 2013, Kelley remained with the No. 6 Nationwide team to work with driver Trevor Bayne. In 2014, Kelley will join Stenhouse on the No. 17 Sprint Cup team.
Chad Norris will move to the No. 6 Nationwide team to replace Kelley and work with Bayne, who will return to the No. 6 next season. The shuffled lineup will also be a reunion for Norris and Bayne, as Norris led Bayne to his first Nationwide win at Texas Motor Speedway in 2011.
“Chad will bring veteran leadership and a steady hand to the No. 6 team with Trevor that we feel will be beneficial,” Roush said.
Scott Graves, who was Stenhouse’s crew chief on the No. 17 Sprint Cup team in 2013, will be moved to the Nationwide Series as crew chief on Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 team for driver Chris Buescher.
“Scott will help provide Chris with the type of guidance that helped Ricky improve throughout this season and close out the rookie award,” Roush said.
Seth Barbour, who worked with both Buescher and Ryan Reed on RFR’s No. 16 team in 2013, will remain with that team to work full-time with Reed in 2014.
“Seth and Ryan have exhibited a strong chemistry that the team is excited to build on in 2014,” Roush said.
Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs Jimmy Fennig and Matt Puccia will maintain their positions, with Fennig continuing on with driver Carl Edwards on the No. 99 team and Puccia, again, working with Greg Biffle and the No. 16 team.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR