Steve Addington has been named as the new crew chief for NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart.
Just a week after clinching his third Cup title alongside crew chief Darian Grubb, Stewart has now appointed Addington to the role within his Stewart Haas Racing organisation.
Addington worked at Cup level with Joe Gibbs Racing as Kyle Busch's crew chief until 2009, and has been with Penske ever since, performing the same role for Kurt Busch.
Stewart, another former JGR driver, said he was looking forward to working with Addington.
"I know Steve well and I know how he goes about setting up a race car," said Stewart. "My comfort level with him is already strong. He balances the technical part of our sport with the real-world experiences we get at the track, and that will allow for a smooth transition as we prepare to defend our title in 2012.
"Steve has proven himself everywhere he's been. Our expectation when we unload each weekend is to win, and that's Steve's expectation, too. Getting there is never easy, but we've both been around long enough to know what it takes to be successful."
Back in his time at JGR, Addington's best season came when he won eight races with Kyle Busch in 2008, leading the Chase standings entering the play-off. For the past two years he has been in Chase contention with Kurt Busch, winning two races each year on the way to 11th in the championship.
"Tony and I are a lot alike and we're able to push each other," Addington said. "I saw how he worked when we were at Gibbs together and I'm not surprised at all at the success he's created at Stewart-Haas Racing.
"He expects a lot and he knows a lot. His talent behind the wheel is obvious, but his ability to motivate and get everyone to believe that whatever goal they set is attainable is something every crew chief wants, and I plan to make the most of it."
Grubb, who was key to Stewart's third title and reached the Chase in all three years they were together, said last week that he was uncertain of returning with Stewart to defend their title in 2012, and left the team a week ago. He has reportedly held talks with Hendrick Motorsports about rejoining the team he left to join SHR.
"Darian was a very important part of the success we've had at Stewart Haas Racing," Stewart added. "I'm very proud of everything he helped accomplish, especially this year when we all rallied to win the championship. He's a great person and I know he'll continue to be successful in this sport."
Addington will be Stewart's only third crew chief during his Sprint Cup series career.
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