In a statement released by Roush Fenway Racing, Bob Osborne is transitioning away from his role as crew chief of the No. 99 Fastenal Sprint Cup team at Roush Fenway Racing, team owner Jack Roush announced today. Roush Fenway veteran Chad Norris will be the crew chief for the No. 99 effective immediately. Osborne will remain with the organization as a senior member of the organization’s management team and steering committee.
“At this time in my life, however, concerns with my health have necessitated that I change my role within the organization,” Osborne added. “This transition is not an easy one, but I’m thankful to have the full support of Jack, Carl and the entire organization. I also have every confidence in Chad Norris, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to pursue a championship in 2012. I also appreciate the privacy and respect that the community will give me and my family during this difficult time.”
Osborne was Edwards’ first crew chief for his Sprint Cup debut in 2004, and the two have combined for 18 wins and two runner-up finishes in season-ending Sprint Cup Series point standings.
Norris has been with Roush Fenway Racing since 2005, and since 2011 has led Roush Fenway’s research and development test program that has seen him serve as crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., in his limited Sprint Cup Series schedule and Trevor Bayne in his limited Nationwide Series schedule.
Norris’ first role as crew chief at Roush Fenway came in 2005 with the No. 17 Nationwide Series team. In his eight years with Roush Fenway, Norris has led multiple teams to victory lane, including Bayne’s inaugural Nationwide Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in November of 2011.
The change comes after Edwards has reached a 52 race winless streak after a season where he tied for the championship with SHR’s, Tony Stewart. Stewart won the 2011 Championship as a “Walk-Off” meaning which ever driver had the most wins, broke the tiebreaker.
Currently, Edwards is 11th in the point standings, leaving him 46 points out of 10th place coming up behind teammates Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle, who are first and third in the standings. Edwards likely will need two victories in the next seven races to secure a Chase spot as one of two wild cards, if he can’t crack the top 10 in points.
“Our commitment to winning a championship with the No. 99 in 2012 has not waivered,” said team owner Jack Roush. “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.”
“We’re very fortunate to have Chad Norris as part of our organization to take over for the No. 99,” Edwards said. “I’ve known Chad for a long time and he is a fierce competitor.
Source: Roush Fenway Racing