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Report: Kenseth, Parrott Have Parted Ways

[1]Just four months after being paired together, Roush Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth and crew chief Todd Parrott have parted ways according to FoxSports.com [2].

Parrott took over for Drew Blickensderfer [3] as crew chief for the No. 17 Sprint Cup Ford at Auto Club Speedway in February. Together, they started out strong. They posted four top 10s in their first four races together, three of which were top 5s. Over the next 10 races, they posted three top 10s. Kenseth is seventh in points. 

No reason was given for the switch. The timing is odd considering that Kenseth is in the midst of battling for a Chase berth and the team hasn’t been running horribly. Still, something on that team must be amiss if someone at RFR decided it would be best to split them up now.

Jimmy Fennig, who was running RFR’s research and development department, will act as temporary crew chief until a replacement can be found. Parrott will return to the R&D department.

Update: Based on comments from Jack Roush, contained in a press release, this move might have been to put Kenseth in a better position to win the Sprint Cup championship.

Roush said:

I am very pleased that we have been able to place these two together on the No. 17. These guys were both instrumental in our back-to-back Sprint Cup Championships in 2003 and 2004, with Matt driving us to our first Cup Championship and Jimmy of course being instrumental in the 2004 championship as the team’s crew chief. We would expect this pairing to yield strong results as both of these guys are extremely talented and among the best in the business at what they do.

With Fennig comes car chief Richie Davis, who will replace Charles “Cully” Barraclough. Parrott will become manager of the R&D department, and Barraclough will become car chief of the R&D department.