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Hendrick reshuffles crew chiefs and drivers for 2011

   Jeff Gordon (L) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (C) both get new crew chiefs 'immediately,' but Jimmie Johnson will still have Chad Knaus (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

    By Mike Mulhern


    Jimmie Johnson may have won a record fifth NASCAR championship, but his three Rick Hendrick teammates – Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. – didn't quite have the greatest seasons.
    So it's probably not surprising that Hendrick is shaking things up for 2011:

    Gordon, who has won only once the last three years with crew chief Steve Letarte, will be getting Alan Gustafson as his new team boss. Gustafson is moving over from the Mark Martin operation.
   Letarte will move to Earnhardt's team. Earnhardt has won only once since joining Hendrick.
   And Lance McGrew, who has been Earnhardt's teammate the past 18 months, moves over to run Martin's team.
   In another major change, Hendrick is now pairing the Johnson-Chad Knaus and Earnhardt-Letarte operation, and pairing the Gordon-Gustafson and Martin-McGrew teams in a separate shop.
   Just what crew shifts will be made too is still not clear.
   Hendrick said "This will improve us as an organization, across the board.
    "We had a championship season, but we weren't where we wanted and needed to be with all four teams.
    "We've made the right adjustments."

Please Mr. Hendrick, assign

Please Mr. Hendrick, assign Knaus to be Junior's crew chief so we can prove once and for all that the problem is with the driver and not everyone and everything else on Junior's team. Unless NASCAR gives him "the call" again some random weekend, his winning days are over.

I just knew Ron Malec, car

I just knew Ron Malec, car chief for the #48 was going to get one of the crew chiefs spots at HMS other than the #48 post. Oh, well. I guess at HMS, with the #48, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I wonder what would have happened if Robby Reiser would have continued on as Matt Kenseth's crew chief? Coulda, shoulda, woulda!

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