Addington, who played a key role in Kyle Busch's Sprint Cup success at Joe Gibbs Racing, was named Kurt Busch's crew chief at Penske Racing on Monday.
If dealing with young Kyle's temperament provided some challenging times, Addington should gear up for Kurt, who can be down-right surly. Kurt fears no one, not even team owner Roger Penske, whom he criticized over the team radio in 2009. He even called the 72-year-old Penske "Dude" at Martinsville in March.
But Addington views his new appointment as an opportunity to work with a driver capable of winning a Cup championship in 2010. "This a championship-caliber team with a great driver," Addington said, "and with the resources and experience at Penske Racing, we have the opportunity to add to the team's success starting next season."
Kurt Busch, who won twice and had 10 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes in 2009 with Pat Tryson, hopes that will be the case. "We're coming off a strong season, but I know we can be even better in 2010," said the 2004 Cup Series champion. "With Steve on board, I am confident we can build on the momentum from 2009 and compete for wins and the series title in the Miller Lite Dodge."
Kyle Busch had so much fun driving for team owner Billy Ballew in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series that he decided to form his own team in 2010.
Busch announced last week that he will enter two full-time Toyota Tundras in the series next year. He will drive the No. 18 Miccosukee Resort & Gaming Toyota Tundra whenever the Camping World Truck Series runs in companion with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the non-companion races, the No. 18 Tundra will be driven by 24-year-old Brian Ickler. Tayler Malsam, 20, will run the full schedule for KBM in the No. 56 Toyota Tundra.
"Everyone knows how much I love to race, and the Camping World Truck Series is one of my favorite places to race, so to be a team owner in this series is a perfect match," said Busch, who has 16 career Camping World Truck Series victories and a combined 62 wins among NASCAR's top three divisions. "We started KBM two years ago with the Late Model program and this seemed like the next natural step."
Busch recently purchased the assets of Xpress Motorsports, the Camping World Truck Series team that won in June at Dover and finished the 2009 season among the top-10 in points. KBM will operate from the Xpress Motorsports shop in Mooresville, N.C., until its new shop, also in Mooresville and currently under construction, is completed.
Overseeing the three-driver, two-Truck outfit will be Rick Ren, who will serve as the team's director of competition. The 52-year-old from Tilton, Ill., is a NASCAR veteran who won two Camping World Truck Series championships as crew chief for RonHornaday Jr., (2007 and 2009) while at Kevin Harvick Inc.
"Rick Ren is an important part of what we're trying to build at Kyle Busch Motorsports," Busch said. "Rick has won multiple championships as a crew chief and is the perfect person to lead this race team and build it into an organization capable of winning races and contending for championships. His record speaks for itself, and in order for me to take on a team ownership role in the Camping World Truck Series, it was important to have the right people in place to make this work. Having Rick on board is a great first step in that process. It's no secret how much I want to win as a driver, and I want to win as a team owner just as badly."
Much of Busch's success has come with Toyota. The 24-year-old has scored 41 of his 62 NASCAR victories with Toyota, and his Camping World Truck Series team will undoubtedly add to those numbers.
Danica Patrick's decision to participate in this weekend's ARCA Series test at Daytona was highly anticipated after she finally announced her limited race deal with the JR Motorsports NASCAR Nationwide Series team. Not to be outdone, fellow IndyCar Series driver Milka Duno says she's going to participate in the ARCA test too and that she would compete in the 200-mile ARCA race at Daytona on February
Duno will participate in the test behind the wheel of Braun Racing's No. 90 Toyota. It will be her first opportunity to go around the 2.5-mile tri-oval in a stock car after competing on the Daytona road course during the annual Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race.
"This will be a new challenge for me and one that I've been looking forward to," Duno said. "I know it won't be easy -- it will be hard work -- but work that I'm ready to take on."
As part of the team that finished second at Daytona in 2007, Duno holds the record for the highest finish by a female driver in the 45-year history of the 24 Hours of Daytona.
"My goal was to reach open-wheel racing in the United States and the Indy 500," Duno said. "I just completed my third season in IndyCar and this year I decided not to once again pass on an opportunity to get behind the wheel of a stock car."
While he may have become famous driving for Roger Penske, Rusty Wallace's NASCAR Nationwide Series team will form a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.
"We're excited about working with J.D. (Gibbs) and his guys; they've built a very solid Nationwide Series program over the past several seasons," Wallace said. "Between all of the support that we're receiving from Toyota and this new partnership, I feel that 2010 will be a strong year for our team."
In the last two Nationwide Series seasons, RWR has fielded a pair of Chevrolet Impalas and was the only team with multiple drivers among the top-10 in the year-end driver standings in 2009. For the 2010 season, the team will campaign factory-backed Toyota Camrys, with engines provided by Triad Racing Development.
Quote of the Week
"I'm excited about the young girls and bringing them up in the sport. I have two young girls -- 9 and 4. My oldest daughter is very excited about this. I asked her, 'How do you know about Danica Patrick?' I was surprised she knew who she was because we don't watch IndyCar races in our family." -- Kelley Earnhardt on Danica Patrick's limited NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports.
Quote of the Week II
"I think in my experience there are IndyCar fans and NASCAR fans and then there are just pure racing fans. I hope it will be a warm welcoming. I hope they will understand running in both series and be excited for me and be excited that there is more of Danica to watch on race weekends." -- Danica Patrick announcing her NASCAR Nationwide Series plans.
Quote of the Week III
"I was talking to Tony Eury Jr. and I had never had a Krispy Kreme doughnut. The day after I had a photo shoot, he sent eight boxes of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. I said eight boxes...." -- Danica Patrick on what her NASCAR crew chief sent after she joined the team.