Ganassi hires McCall to crew McMurray

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) Chip Ganassi Racing has hired Matt McCall, the lead engineer for Ryan Newman, to be the crew chief for Jamie McMurray.

The hiring announced Tuesday is effective immediately, and comes two days after Newman finished second in the Sprint Cup championship race.

''We are very pleased to add a crew chief like Matt to what we feel is a team and program that is certainly on the rise, and feel that he can take it to the next level,'' said team owner Chip Ganassi. ''He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will mesh very well with Jamie and the whole team. We couldn't be happier.''

McCall is a former driver who competed in NASCAR's Nationwide and Truck Series. He's a former grand national champion in the World Karting Association Dirt Series. He has a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

''This organization is one that everyone in the garage has taken notice of in 2014, and I am just looking forward to the opportunity to make them even better,'' McCall said. ''We have a group of very talented people building and driving the race cars here and I can't wait to get started.''

McCall replaces Keith Rodden, who is believed to be returning to Hendrick Motorsports. Rodden was the lead engineer for Kasey Kahne before his one season as McMurray's crew chief.

McMurray finished 18th in the standings - he couldn't improve higher than 17th after failing to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship - and he won the All-Star race in May.

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