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Addington takes over crew chief role for Stewart

Steve Addington has replaced Darian Grubb as Haas Racing announced on Monday.

Addington has won 16 Sprint Cup races as crew chief, including two with driver Kurt Busch this season. He served in the role for Busch's team the past two seasons. Last week, Addington informed Penske Racing that he would not return with the team for the 2012 season.

Stewart and Addington worked together at Joe Gibbs Racing from 2005-08.

"I know Steve well, and I know how he goes about setting up a racecar," Stewart said in a team statement. "My comfort level with him is already strong. He balances the technical part of our sport with the real-world experiences we get at the track, and that will allow for a smooth transition, as we prepare to defend our title in 2012."

Before Addington joined Penske, he was the crew chief for the teams of Bobby Labonte (2005), J.J. Yeley (2006-07) and Busch's younger brother, Kyle, (2008 through race No.33 of the 2009 season). Twelve of his wins came with Kyle Busch at JGR.

"Tony and I are a lot alike, and we're able to push each other," Addington said. "I saw how he worked when we were at Gibbs together, and I'm not surprised at all at the success he's created at Stewart-Haas Racing. He expects a lot, and he knows a lot. His talent behind the wheel is obvious, but his ability to motivate and get everyone to believe that whatever goal they set is attainable is something every crew chief wants, and I plan to make the most of it."

The crew chief change comes eight days after Stewart clinched his third Sprint Cup championship as a driver and first as a team owner.

Stewart and Carl Edwards ended this season with 2,403 points each, but in a tiebreaker, Stewart captured the title by virtue of his five wins -- all of them coming in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup -- compared to only one victory for Edwards.

Grubb, who became a first-time championship-winning crew chief, had been with Stewart's No.14 Chevrolet team since the inception of SHR in '09.

"Darian was a very important part of the success we've had at Stewart-Haas Racing," Stewart noted. "I'm very proud of everything he helped accomplish, especially this year when we all rallied to win the championship. He's a great person, and I know he'll continue to be successful in this sport."

Grubb was informed midway through the Chase that he would not be back with the team next year. He had worked for Hendrick Motorsports from 2001-08.

Stewart and Grubb will be honored for their championship season on Friday in Las Vegas.