By AMANDA VINCENT
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sophomore driver Austin Dillon will have a new crew chief when the circuit returns to action June 28 at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. According to a press release from Richard Childress Racing on Monday, Richard “Slugger” Labbe is now the crew chief on the No. 3 RCR Chevrolet driven by Dillon. He replaces Gil Martin.
Martin remains with Richard Childress Racing, though. According to the team release, he is transitioning into a leadership role within the organization’s research and development department, filling the role vacated by Labbe’s return to crew chiefing duties.
Last season, Labbe announced a departure from duties as a Sprint Cup crew chief, in exchange for a position within RCR that didn’t call for an extensive travel schedule. But in 2015 he’s been a part-time crew chief on the No. 33 Circle Sport team that has an affiliation with RCR. In all, Labbe has been a Sprint Cup crew chief for 433 races. Those races include wins in the 2003 Daytona 500 and the 2011 Brickyard 400.
Departing crew chief Martin played a part in 16 wins as a NASCAR Cup level crew chief in 472 series starts. His wins included the 2003 Brickyard 400.
Dillon gets his new crew chief as he sists 23rd in the driver championship points standings after 15 races of the 36-race 2015 season.
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