NASCAR & Auto Racing

Pemberton touts MWR's growth amid swirl of crew chief changes

The NASCAR crew chief carousel is spinning.

Ryan Pemberton, who earlier this week left Dale Earnhardt Inc., landed at Michael Waltrip Racing as those two teams have apparently completed a shuffle of their lineups.

Pemberton will be crew chief for David Reutimann, both in the No. 00 Toyotas for the season's first five races. He is to then move to the No. 44 cars when the team switches to that car number.

"Michael Waltrip Racing is a team that's growing and I want to be a part of that," Pemberton said.

"I have respect for this team because I know how hard it is to start up an organization from scratch. There's a lot to overcome just to make it to the race track when you are developing a new program, especially of the magnitude they did. I can appreciate all of their hard work and dedication last season."

Bill Pappas will serve as crew chief for the team with which Dale Jarrett will drive the first five races, then move to the No. 00 after Jarrett steps out. Michael McDowell and Josh Wise are expected to share that ride once the swap with Reutimann is made.

Paul Andrews, crew chief when Alan Kulwicki won the 1992 Cup championship, will serve as crew chief for Michael Waltrip in the No. 55 Toyotas.

Pemberton was crew chief for Mark Martin in the No. 01 Chevrolets at DEI when the 2007 season ended. After Pemberton left, Doug Richert was hired and it was believed that he would work with Martin and Aric Almirola this year.

But, Friday afternoon on Sirius NASCAR Radio, Richert said that he will be crew chief for Regan Smith's No. 01 Chevrolets as Smith runs for rookie of the year honors.