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Change is good for the "soul of the team"

November 24, 2011 - Edward Thomas
Steve Addington parted ways with Penske Racing. Could this famous crew chief be headed for the vacant spot with Tony Stewart's championship-winning organization? Stewart wouldn't comment on the rumors swirling around Addington, but he said that personnel changes for his race team and organization are topmost on his mind.

Stewart-Haas Racing has a major role to fill in its team shop: competition director. Darren Grubb has shown his ability to deal with Stewart, his team members and media this year. I think Grubb would do a swell job at filling this position. He has an extensive background with all of the teams and NASCAR officials.

Ryan Newman's team is still short on sponsorship for a number of races next year. The organization is fielding several offers, but how much does it take to fill a one-race deal? According to the financial records issued by NASCAR, most one-race deals run from $150,000 to $300,000. This is paid to the organization for top billing and promotion responsibilities. The average Sprint Cup team spends $2.5 to $5 million during a season.

* Michael Waltrip Racing is thinning out his team next season. Waltrip parted ways with David Reutimann and added the old man Mark Martin as his new driver. Martin will be a part-time driver for MWR, because he is getting too tired of the traveling. The average Cup driver spends 36-40 weekends a year on the road. Most of the drivers have air transportation to limit the time away from home, but some of the cheaper race teams make their drivers and crews sleep over at a Motel 6 or Red Roof.

* Closing Doors: Red Bull Racing closed its doors on Monday due to lack of sponsorship. Members of two full teams now areout of a job. That relates to 250 people in the race shop, pit crew and office personnel. Some of the crew members may be lucky to secure employment with other teams. Roush Racing cut back to three teams for next season and layed-off 55 mechanics and engineers. Finding jobs in the NASCAR garages was simple 5-10 years ago, but now they are just as scarce as in the real-world job market.


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