Change at the Top for No. 99
Bob Osborne is transitioning away from his role as crew chief of the No. 99 Sprint Cup team at Roush Fenway Racing, team owner Jack Roush announced Tuesday. 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.
"I have had the pleasure of working with Carl Edwards for the past nine years and, during that time, my focus has been building a championship-caliber program," Osborne said. "I'm proud of the 18 wins we've had together in Sprint Cup Series competition and our two second-place points finishes.
"At this time in my life, however, concerns with my health have necessitated that I change my role within the organization. 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.
"I cannot say enough good things about Bob Osborne," Edwards said. "I'm so thankful for what he's done for me as a driver, and he is without a doubt one of the smartest guys in the sport. I'm also appreciative of the fact that he'll continue to be a resource for me and our team as we focus on these final races. We're very fortunate to have Chad Norris as part of our organization to take over for the No. 99. I've known Chad for a long time and he is a fierce competitor. We've got our work cut out for us over the next seven races, and I've got every confidence Chad can lead our team to where we need to be."
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 2011.
"Our commitment to winning a championship with the No. 99 in 2012 has not waivered," Roush said. "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."