Stewart fires Grubb, hires Steve Addington as crew chief
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -
NASCAR champion Tony Stewart has fired Darian Grubb and hired a new crew chief.

Stewart-Haas Racing says Steve Addington has taken over the No. 14 Chevrolet effective immediately. Addington quit as Kurt Busch's crew chief last week.

Stewart won his third NASCAR championship a week ago, and begins his celebration this week in Las Vegas. Grubb will also be honored, but it will likely be awkward.

Grubb was told midway through the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship he was out at the end of the year. That didn't change even after Stewart won five of the 10 Chase races and beat Carl Edwards for the title.

Grubb will have no shortage of job offers, and Rick Hendrick said Monday he's offered Grubb an engineering position.

Rick Hendrick says seat came loose in plane crash
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -
NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick says his seat came loose in the Oct. 31 plane crash that left him with four broken ribs and a broken shoulder.

The Gulfstream G150 had brake problems upon landing at the Key West Airport in Florida. The private plane ran off the runway.

Hendrick said Monday he was wearing his seat belt, but the seat itself came loose and he hit the bulkhead. He also said his chest and head hit the seat in front of him.

Hendrick also suffered a concussion and was hospitalized for a week in North Carolina. His wife, Linda, sustained minor cuts and bruises in the crash. The two pilots were not injured.

The plane was co-owned by Hendrick and five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson.

RCR names Blickensderfer crew chief for Burton
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -
Richard Childress Racing has named Drew Blickensderfer crew chief for Jeff Burton.

It's the second crew chief change for RCR this offseason, and fifth in the Sprint Cup Series since the season ended eight days ago at Homestead. RCR also changed Kevin Harvick's crew chief last week.

Luke Lambert had been Burton's crew chief on an interim basis, but will be moved to a new position at RCR.

Blickensderfer spent nearly a decade with Roush Fenway Racing and led David Ragan to his first career victory this season in Daytona at July. RFR is likely closing Ragan's team because of a lack of sponsorship, which freed up Blickensderfer.

RCR says more competition changes will be announced in the coming weeks but Slugger Labbe will return next season with Paul Menard.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.