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Tony Stewart's Winning Crew Chief Replaced by Steve Addington

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent INovember 28, 2011

DOVER, DE - SEPTEMBER 30:  Tony Stewart (R), driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, talks with crew chief Darian Grubb (L) in the garage
 during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 30, 2011 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Geoff Burke/Getty Images

Effective immediately, Steve Addington has been named as the crew chief for three-time NASCAR Cup champion Tony Stewart. Darian Grubb, the crew chief who guided Stewart to a championship, looks to be moving on from Stewart-Haas Racing.

Addington, a South Carolina native, is only the third crew chief Stewart has had during his 13-year career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Addington spent 15 seasons with success in the NASCAR Nationwide Series before moving up to the Cup series.

Stewart said, "I know Steve well and I know how he goes about setting up a racecar. My comfort level with him is already strong. He balances the technical part of our sport with the real-world experiences that we get at the track, and that will allow for a smooth transition as we prepare to defend our title in 2012."

Stewart worked with Addington from 2005 to 2008 when he was driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, though he was not his crew chief.

Addington added, "Tony and I are a lot alike and we're able to push each other. He expects a lot and he knows a lot.

Addington continued, "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."

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Stewart's new crew chief has shown he can deal with all types of personalities, including the highly competitive ones like Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch. He has been able to steer both drivers to victory.

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 19:  Crew chief Steve Addington and Kurt Busch, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, talk in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2011 in Homestead, Fl
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Addington has also shown the ability to put a winning car on any type of track from the super speedways to short tracks.

Stewart had told Grubb he would be replaced as crew chief nearly six weeks prior to the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he won the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.

Stewart spoke well of his former crew chief, saying, "Darian was a very important part of the success we've had at Stewart-Haas Racing. He's a great person, and I know he'll continue to be successful in this sport."

All quotes in this article were obtained from an official team press release.

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