Earnhardt Ganassi Racing announced that Jim Pohlman will take over crew chief duties for the team’s No. 42 Sprint Cup Chevy and driver Juan Montoya. No word on what will happen to Brian Pattie, Montoya’s crew chief before the change was announced.
Team owner Chip Ganassi said:
We are pleased to have someone of Jim’s caliber to be able to place into this role on the No. 42 team. Jim has been with us a number of years and I have confidence in his abilities to move the team forward.
Montoya got off to a great start to the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season, finishing in the top 6 in two out of the first three races. After the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Montoya sat fourth in the championship standings. By the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway (six races later) he dropped to 12th place in the standings, and out of the Chase.
He has finished 20th or worse in five out of the last 10 races, and currently sits 17th in points, 59 points out of 10th.
With seven races to go until the Chase, this seems like a popular time for crew chief changes. Thus far, , Greg Biffle and AJ Allmendinger have new crew chiefs. Martin Truex Jr got a new crew chief last month.