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Reiser To Return To Role As Kenseth’s Crew Chief?

[1]SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s Dave Moody is reporting that Robbie Reiser is likely to return to his role as crew chief for Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford next season.

Reiser, who is currently general manager of RFR, served as Kenseth’s crew chief from the time he ran in what is now the Nationwide Series in 1997 until late 2007 when Reiser was promoted to GM.

During their time together, Kenseth and Reiser teamed up for 15 wins and a Sprint Cup championship.

When Reiser moved up, Chip Bolin, who already had one win with Kenseth during Reiser’s suspension at the start of the 2007 season,  took over as crew chief of the No. 17. The two would not find Victory Lane at all during the 2008 season. Bolin was replaced by Drew Blickensderfer before the start of the 2009 season.

In 2009, Kenseth and Blickensderfer started the season of strong, winning the first two races. But the two would not get another win that season, and they would miss the Chase.

After the 2010 Daytona 500, Blickensderfer was replaced by Todd Parrott [2] as crew chief for Kenseth. And while they never won a race together, they did post 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 was seventh in points when Parrott was replaced by Jimmy Fennig [3].

At that time, Roush said of the Kenseth-Fennig pairing:

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. 

In the media center before the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Roush and Kenseth both indicated that Reiser had been approached to return to his role as crew chief. Kenseth said that he wanted to remain in the front office, and he couldn’t be on the pit box and in the front office.

But now, according to an anonymous source, Reiser wants to go back to being a crew chief.

The source said:

Robbie wants to come back but he’s doing such a good job as GM that Jack can’t justify making a move right now. Next season, expect to see Reiser back on the pit box, with Robbie Loomis succeeding him as General Manager.

Loomis is currently serving as an executive of racing operations with Richard Petty Motorsports.