Jeff Burton has new crew chief

Updated: October 29, 2012, 6:51 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

Luke Lambert will take over for Drew Blickensderfer as the crew chief for Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Chevrolet in 2013, but Shane Wilson will handle those duties on a interim basis until the end of his season, Richard Childress Racing officials announced Monday.

Burton
Burton

Blickensderfer, 35, will move to Richard Petty Motorsports to replace Mike Ford as the crew chief for Marcos Ambrose and the No. 9 Ford, two reports stated Monday.

"I want to thank Drew for all of his effort this season," RCR team owner Richard Childress said in a team release. "He's a great crew chief and I can't say enough about his dedication to RCR. Making the move now, before the season is over, gives Drew some additional time to pursue other opportunities."

Wilson, 43, will work with Burton for the final three races of the year. Wilson was the crew chief for Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Chevy at RCR before being replaced by Gil Martin on Aug. 20.

Lambert, 30, is trying to lead Elliott Sadler to the Nationwide Series title this season in the No. 2 Chevy for RCR, so Childress did not want to disrupt that combination for now. Sadler leads the standings by six points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Lambert served as an interim crew chief for Burton in 2011.

"Luke is proving this season that he's a strong, young crew chief who can win races and compete for a championship," Childress said. "Announcing his move to the No. 31 team in 2013 will not take anything away from his focus on the No. 2 team winning the Nationwide Series championship.

"That's his No. 1 priority. We merely wanted to show that we have both an interim plan for the rest of this season and a long-term plan for the future."

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter