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Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Updated: January 9, 5:00 PM ET
Roush hires crew chief Carter from Waltrip's team

By David Newton
ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Nextel Cup team owner Jack Roush was among the many who complained early in the year about how new Toyota teams would raid existing manufacturers for talent.

So, where did Roush go to get a new crew chief for Jamie McMurray?

Toyota.

Larry Carter has left Michael Waltrip Racing to join Roush Racing, MWR general manager Ty Norris said Wednesday.

Carter had been a part of building of MWR from the beginning and was slated to serve as crew chief for rookie David Reutimann in 2007. He told Norris of his decision to leave shortly after Matt Borland was named crew chief for Dale Jarrett earlier this month.

Norris refused to call Carter's departure a setback.

"We only need people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for a period of time for the betterment of our company," he said Wednesday. "You're either in the mode to do it or you do not want to.

"There were a couple of people who were not willing to do it."

Norris said Carter was given an out in his contract.

"Larry Carter came on board when we didn't have anything," he said. "So we gave him the option. No, it's not a setback. Not at all. I'm not trying to be cavalier. It is just not a setback."

Reminded that Roush was among those wary of Toyota's hiring power, Norris said, "I was told a long time ago if you walk by a snake coiled up and hiding in the bushes, don't prod it. So I won't say anything."

Carter, a nephew of former team owner Travis Carter, worked with Rusty Wallace at Penske Racing South in 2004. He helped Wallace snap a 105-race winless streak at Martinsville in only their 10th race together.

McMurray is coming off a year in which he finished a career-worst 25th in the season standings for Roush Racing after consecutive finishes of 13th, 11th and 12th at Chip Ganassi Racing.

He has not won a race since 2002, when he was a replacement driver for Sterling Marlin.

Carter will be McMurray's fifth crew chief at Roush Racing in less than a year. McMurray began last season with crew chief Jimmy Fennig, then inherited Bob Osborne from Carl Edwards' team in April.

Osborne returned to Edwards for the final two races and Wally Brown -- who has since left Roush Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing -- was next before Chad Norris ran the team at the end of the season when it became apparent Brown was headed to Gibbs.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.