By admin | July 17, 2012
By Richard Allen
According to a release sent out by Roush Fenway Racing on Tuesday morning, Bob Osborne is stepping down as crew chief for Carl Edwards and the #99 Ford team. Osborne and Edwards have been together for nine years and have amassed 18 Sprint Cup wins and two second place finishes in the overall standings in that time.
The release states that health concerns on Osborne’s part precipitated the move. He will remain with RFR in a management position. “At this time in my life, concerns with my health have necessitated that I change my role within the organization,” Osborne said.
The new pit boss for the Edwards’ team will be Chad Norris. Previously, Norris has served as a Nationwide Series crew chief for Trevor Bayne and a Sprint Cup crew chief in the limited starts made by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Norris will not have to do much research to find the primary mission he is being charged with in his new job. Edwards currently ranks 11th in the Sprint Cup standings, 46 points behind 10th place Brad Keselowski. That and the fact that they have no wins leaves Edwards and the #99 team on the outside looking in regarding the fast approaching Chase for the Championship.
After the 26th race of the season those drivers within the top-10 of the Sprint Cup standings and the two drivers outside the top-10 with the most wins earn places in NASCAR’s version of a ten race playoff.
Currently, 19 races on the schedule have been completed in NASCAR‘s top division. Obviously then, the new pairing of Edwards and Norris have seven races to correct the problem and make the Chase.
Team owner Jack Roush left no doubt as to what mission lies ahead for his newest Sprint Cup crew chief. “Our commitment to winning a championship with the No. 99 in 2012 has not waivered,” Roush said in the release. “I’m committed to providing the resources to Carl and to his team to do that, and this restructuring of Bob’s role and the introduction of Chad Norris as the crew chief for the No. 99 will put us in the best possible position for these final seven races before the ‘Chase’ begins.”
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