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New crew chief charged with task of getting Edwards into Chase

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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3 Responses to “New crew chief charged with task of getting Edwards into Chase”

  1. Gregory D. Howe Says:
    July 17th, 2012 at 8:58 am

    My wife is greatly relieved as she has been calling, (actually shouting) for this for quite some time. After last years’ ignominious Championship defeat not making the Chase would have been the nail in Bob’s coffin anyway. This is probably the best situation for both parties, Osborne saves face and Edwards just might be propelled into the Chase. The only shadow of doubt that intrudes is the fact that Bob had been replaced before and it didn’t work out as planned.

  2. z'hills fan Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Without the infusion of new blood into the cup series it is more competitive than the past. It’s tough to even get a top 10 finish nowadays. That’s the reason i think that you don’t see many wrecks in the cup series, better competition and drivers, crews,etc. Even the small teams are more competitive than in the past, for example, Kurt Busch, David Reutimann, and Casey Mears.

  3. Bill B Says:
    July 18th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    The only doubt is how quickly can a driver, team and new crew chief gel. It is rare when a new driver/crew chief combination can come strong right out of the box. It will be interesting to see how it works out.

    z’hill fan,
    You can’t ignore the chase format itself. Those guys in the top ten with only one win are now a race worth of points ahead of 11th. My guess is they go into conservative mode. Top tens almost guarentee a chase berth. (And I really feel this mentality creeps in by May, June at the latest.

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