Richard Buck new Cup director

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Richard Buck was named NASCAR Sprint Cup director on Thursday, ending a four-year search to replace John Darby.

Buck, a former crew chief and technical director in the CART series who was part of five Indianapolis 500 wins, will remain vice president of operations for the International Motor Sports Association through the Jan. 25-26 Rolex 24.

He was hired by NASCAR to oversee the Grand-Am series when it was announced last year that it would merge with the American Le Mans Series this season.

"Because of his broad motorsports background, we brought him in on the Grand-Am side to help prepare for the merger between Grand-Am and ALMS and the converging of those two cultures," NASCAR president Mike Helton said. "He, along with the ALMS group, have gotten so much accomplished so far."

Darby will become managing director of competition, Helton said, focusing on "the integration of a lot of the new inspection and rule making and part approval process" with other series officials.