Carl Edwards will have a new crew chief for the rest of 2012.
Bob Osborne, Edwards' crew chief for all but 27 races of his Sprint Cup Series career, is stepping down from his post atop the No. 99 pit box for medical reasons. Chad Norris will become Edwards' crew chief.
"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 in a release. "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," Osborne added. "This transition is not an easy one, but I'm thankful to have the full support of Jack [Roush], 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."
[Power Rankings: When in doubt go with Jimmie Johnson]
Osborne will remain with Roush as a senior member of the company's management team and steering committee. Norris has been with Roush Fenway since 2005 and was in charge of Roush's R&D team and was the crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse in the Daytona 500.
Edwards, who finished second to Tony Stewart in last year's Chase, is currently in 11th place in the Sprint Cup points standings — 46 points behind 10th place Brad Keselowski. However, Edwards is currently sitting outside the Chase at the moment with zero wins. His last win was at Las Vegas back in March of 2011. Stewart and Edwards were tied in the points column at the end of last season, but Stewart had five wins to Edwards' one.
Following a 20th-place finish at Kentucky in which Edwards had to stop late for fuel, Edwards backed Osborne, calling him the best crew chief in the business and urged his team to stick together.
"I cannot say enough good things about Bob Osborne," Edwards said in a statement. "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."
Will Norris be the spark that Edwards needs over the final seven races to snag a wild card or move into the top 10?
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