Veteran crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe has parted with TRG Motorsports to become crew chief for the No. 98 Ford driven by Paul Menard, according to a Foxsports.com report. TRG owner Kevin Buckler confirmed Labbe's departure on Thursday.
The No. 98 Menard car is part of a merger under which Richard Petty Motorsports will absorb Yates Racing, which fields Menard's car. The result will be a four-car team under the RPM banner, featuring drivers Kasey Kahne, A.J. Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler and Menard. The team will field Fords in 2010, with power supplied by Roush-Yates engines.
Meanwhile, if Ron Hornaday Jr. is to add to his record four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships – the most recent of which came this year – he'll have to do so without veteran crew chief Rick Ren. Kevin Harvick Inc., which fields trucks for Hornaday, announced Thursday that Ren was leaving the organization to pursue opportunities elsewhere in the sport.
Ren reportedly will take a management job with a new Truck Series team owned by Kyle Busch, who, for the last five years, has driven selected races in trucks fielded by Billy Ballew – for the love of competition, not for money.
As to Ren's replacement, Harvick said the announcement of a new crew chief for Hornaday could come as early as next week.
Source: NASCAR Wire Service