Former Roush Fenway Racing crew chief Drew Blickensderfer will work alongside Jeff Burton in 2012, Richard Childress Racing has announced.
Following nearly a decade at Roush, Blickensderfer, who won on his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut as a crew chief with Matt Kenseth in the 2009 Daytona 500, will jump ship to RCR to lead the #31 team of former Chase contender Jeff Burton.
Blickensderfer spent the 2011 season working beside David Ragan, a first time winner in Cup last summer at Daytona.
"I'm excited about the move to RCR and the opportunity to help lead Jeff Burton and the team back into Chase contention," said Blickensderfer. "I was around Jeff briefly at RFR and always admired and liked him. He's a very talented driver and I look forward to working him and the rest of the #31 team in 2012."
Burton had his worst season this year since joining RCR, finishing 20th in the points with only two top-five finishes to his name, and being the only driver from his stable not to win a single race. The 44-year-old has entered the Chase four times over the past seven years he has been with the team.
"Drew is a strong leader and will be a great complement to the Caterpillar/Wheaties Racing team," said team owner Richard Childress. "He's won some big races, including the 2009 Daytona 500, his first race as a Sprint Cup Series crew chief. There's every reason to believe the combination of Jeff and Drew will be a successful one."
Luke Lambert, who was interim crew chief during for Burton, is set to move to a different role within RCR, while further changes to the team's competition department are expected to be announced soon.
RCR's announcement is the fifth regarding crew chief changes over the past week among Cup teams. Michael Waltrip Racing is also expected to announce the hiring of former Earnhardt Ganassi crew chief Brian Pattie to work alongside Clint Bowyer, while champion crew chief Darian Grubb is expected to go elsewhere after Stewart Haas announced Steve Addington as his replacement.