Monday, December 01, 2008

2009 Driver/Crew Chief Lineup

No. 83 driver Brian Vickers will have a new crew chief for his third season with Red Bull Racing Team, as Ryan Pemberton leads Vickers’ charge to his first Red Bull victory and a spot in the 2009 Chase.

Teammate Scott Speed will return for his rookie NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. He’ll drive the No. 82 Red Bull Toyota under the watch of returning crew chief Jimmy Elledge.

"We’re entering our third Sprint Cup season with driver and crew chief pairings that have what it takes to consistently compete at a high level," said Jay Frye, RBRT Vice President and General Manager. "Brian and Ryan are each at a point in their respective careers where they can bring home wins and make a run for the championship. Scott earned his Sprint Cup ride by exceeding our expectations in ARCA and trucks. He has a great asset in Jimmy, who has experience working with both rookies and open-wheel drivers."

Pemberton, 39, inherits a No. 83 team that earned a pole, three top-five and six top-10 finishes before Vickers finished 19th in points. His most recent crew chief role was with the No. 44 Toyota, guiding driver David Reutimann to four top 10s in 2008.

A longtime crewman, Pemberton became a crew chief in 1995 in the Nationwide Series and took his first Sprint Cup job in 1997 at MB2 Motorsports. Since then, he has crew chiefed for the likes of Derrike Cope, Jerry Nadeau, Joe Nemechek, Mark Martin and Aric Almirola. His first victory as a crew chief came when Nemechek won the 2004 race at Kansas Speedway.

After ruffling fenders in ARCA and the Craftsman Truck Series, Speed graduates to a full-time Sprint Cup ride in 2009. He drove the No. 84 in four races and the No. 83 in one to close last season.

Speed, switching to a silver No. 82, will contend for rookie of the year and start the season locked inside the top 35 in car owner points. He’s guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races, including the season-opening Daytona 500.

He’ll also run a partial Nationwide Series schedule in the No. 99 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.

After a two-year stint in the NASCAR garage, the No. 84 retires to the RBRT museum, also known as the race shop in Mooresville, N.C.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this an indication that Hamlin had more to do with the acid wash than previously indicated? I don't object to the move. It seemed as if Kevin was relying more and more on special strategies to get the 83 up front as the year progressed. It worked in the first half, but the second half really sucked.

Looks like we don't have to wonder about a paint scheme change for 2009. Is that accurate? The 82 appears to have the same scheme as the 84 did.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, I don't think Red Bull would say on their own website what the paint scheme is if it weren't true. Sounds like Speed will have a silver car next year. It will just be the 82 not the 84.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhhh, I'm just hoping that BV will have a crew chief for more than a year............ at some point in his career. As a huge BV backer, I'm getting tired of BV getting a new crew chief every year, look at the best driver-crew chief combo, they have been in place for years. BV needs time to develope that chemisty, this was the same deal at HMS too, new guy on the pit box every year.... looking 4ward to 09, it cannot get here fast enough.......... 09 is the year, good luck BV and RBTR

Paul Brown

9:03 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Wow! I'm ready for the 500 now. Pemberton on the pit box for Vickers should be awesome. He is a great crew chief, and BV is a great driver. Should be an excellent combo.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vickers has had 5 different crew chiefs in as many years as far as I can remember. Although I don't like to say it, the way that this comes across is that he's difficult to work with. I hope it's not true, but one can't help but perceive it that way.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Bull Racing is here to stay. If the crew chief change says anything, it says that Red Bull will do anything to make BV a sucess for RBRT soon Scott Speed will end up that way aswell. 2009 will be the best year yet for RBRT.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason I was commenting on the paint scheme is that they already have the 82 on Jayski's paint scheme page. It's actually been there for over a month. It's exactly the same as the 84, except the number...obviously.
No problem either way. I still think they are the best looking cars on the track.
How long till Daytona? Someone put me in a coma for the next 3 months.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous savannah david said...

I hope Ryan is a good fit for BV. It seemed that Kevin & BV had good chemistry and communicated extremely well together. Like a couple of others have said, I'd like BV to have a crew chief for more than one season - assuming there are some indications of success. It would be great to see BV win either Daytona or any of the first 5 races of the season. We're waiting, so, get ready to "Go get 'em boys!"

5:18 AM  
Blogger Krystle said...

Unless I missed something, Nascar still has Kevin suspended indefinitely so BV was going to start with a different crew chief next year any way you cut it.

1:57 PM  

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