Originally written on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 11/22/11

The 2011 NASCAR season may be over, but Silly Season has just begun.  Silly Season is what we like to call the off-season when teams start making changes to their organizations.  Let's take a look at the current crew chief changes, and the rumors that are circulating in the Sprint Cup Series world.

Sunday, after Tony Stewart and his No. 14 Stewart Haas team won the Championship, Stewart’s crew chief Darian Grubb announced that he was let go from the team at the conclusion of the season.  There is no word yet if winning the championship has changed matters or who will fill Grubb’s spot at Stewart-Haas.

Meanwhile, Penske Racing has announced that Kurt Busch’s crew chief Steve Addington has left the organization.  Addington has been with the team for two years and was previously paired with Kurt’s brother, Kyle Busch.  Addington guided the No. 22 team to four victories and two spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the past two seasons.

Addington leaving Penske wasn’t as much of a surprise as Grubb’s situation.  It is no secret that Busch has been temperamental for the past two seasons, giving Addington and his team a hard time on a weekly basis.   Although Stewart’s team just won the championship, before they made the Chase they had zero wins and were struggling to even make the Chase.

In another crew chief move, Drew Blickensderfer, currently with the No. 6 team of David Ragan, is expected to leave Roush Fenway to join Richard Childress Racing for 2012.  Blickensderfer, who has been an employee of RFR for nine years, is most likely without a job with that team, given the No. 6 team’s uncertain future.  The announcement is expected to be made this week that Blickenderfer will join the No. 31 team as Jeff Burton’s crew chief.

Now speculation turns to the question of where veteran RCR driver Jeff Burton’s current crew chief Luke Lambert will land.  With open jobs at Penkse Racing, Stewart Haas Racing, and possibly Roush Fenway Racing, the possibilities are seemingly endless.

Lastly, engineer Chris Heroy will move from the No. 5 team of Hendrick Motorsports to serve as crew chief for Juan Pablo Montoya next season.  Kasey Kahne, who is moving to HMS to take over Mark Martin’s ride, is taking crew chief Kenny Francis with him to that team.

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