NASCAR & Auto Racing

Barker moving to Waltrip's car in 2009

Robert "Bootie" Barker will be the crew chief of the No. 55 Toyotas driven by Michael Waltrip next season.

Bobby Kennedy, who has worked with Waltrip in multiple roles for more than a decade, is moving into a management position at MWR. Barker currently works at Haas CNC Racing, but will leave that organization at the end of the season.

"Bringing Bootie on as my crew chief is part of a larger plan that enables Bobby Kennedy to move into a critical management position," Waltrip said. "We have discussed this move since the summer, but waited until we were able to hire a crew chief of Bootie's caliber and we're really glad to have him join MWR."

Barker has also worked for Bill Davis Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.

Barker became a crew chief for Scott Wimmer in the Nationwide Series, winning four races in 2002. He's spent the past five years as a Cup crew chief for Dave Blaney, Jason Leffler, Mike Bliss, Jeff Green and Scott Riggs.

"I really appreciate the confidence that Michael has in me," Barker said.

"He has accomplished a lot in his racing career and the fact that he wanted me to be his crew chief goes a long way for me personally."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.