AJ Allmendinger gets new crew chief at JTG Daugherty Racing

JTG Daugherty Racing has announced that Randall Burnett will replace Brian Burns as the crew chief for AJ Allmendinger in 2016.

Burnett has spent the past three seasons as the lead engineer for the No. 42 team of Chip Ganassi Racing, where he's worked the past two years with driver Kyle Larson.

Burns had been the crew chief for Allmendinger for his entire JTG Daugherty tenure, which began in August 2013. Together, the two made the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup but won only one race -- Watkins Glen in August 2014.

In addition to announcing the crew-chief change on Allmendinger's No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty also announced that veteran crew chief Ernie Cope has been named the organization's director of competition.

Cope spent last season at JR Motorsports where he was the crew chief for 2014 XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott, who finished runner-up to Chris Buescher in the 2015 XFINITY Series championship fight.

Cope's move to JTG Daugherty marks a homecoming of sorts, as he was an XFINITY Series crew chief for drivers Stacy Compton and Marcos Ambrose at JTG Daugherty in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

"With both Randall and Ernie coming on board, it gives us more than anything new ideas," Allmendinger said in a team release. "Ernie has a ton of experience when it comes to this role from all the years he was at Harvick's (Kevin Harvick Inc.) shop and with the RCR (Richard Childress Racing) alliance. That's going to help us immediately with having an even better relationship with RCR.

"Then what I really like about Randall is that, even though he hasn't been a crew chief, he's done every role you can ask for -- whether it's as a driver (Late Model), car chief, engineer, test team or building race cars. I think we are going to speak the same language pretty quickly. I know his knowledge is going to help us. I really look forward to getting the year kicked off and seeing where we are at as a team."