Garage Chatter: Phoenix

New crew chief for Stremme: Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced earlier this week that Steven Lane will replace Jeff Vandermoss as crew chief on the No. 40 Dodge. Vandermoss will become the car chief on the No. 41 Dodge. Lane was...

New crew chief for Stremme: Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced earlier this week that Steven Lane will replace Jeff Vandermoss as crew chief on the No. 40 Dodge. Vandermoss will become the car chief on the No. 41 Dodge. Lane was previously the car chief on Stremme's car.

Graves steps down: Just a day after announcing crew chief changes on the No. 40 Dodge, Ganassi team manger Andy Graves has stepped down. He will be reassigned to another position within the company.

"It has been a privilege to work with Chip, Felix and the whole team over the last seven seasons. These years with the team have been a part of my life that I will never forget and for that I am truly grateful. I am now just looking forward to the next chapter of my career here at Chip Ganassi Racing," Graves said.

Personnel changes at Roush: OK stick with me this one is complicated: Jimmy Fennig leaves the No. 26 Ford of Jamie McMurray and will oversee all things Busch series for Roush Racing. Fennig will serve as Matt Kenseth's Busch crew chief while Chad Norris serves out a four-week suspension.

Bob Osborne will move from crew chiefing the No. 99 Ford to the No. 26.

Wally Brown will take over CC duties for the No. 99.

Jim Ryder will replace Brown as head engineer. Mark Catania moves to head engineer for the Busch and Truck teams replacing Ryder. Alex Lenxmeier moves to lead engineer on the No. 26 team.

Roush hopes that the move helps buoy McMurray and Edwards, who have both had mediocre performances this season. It is said that Roush is not pleased at the way McMurray has been running considering the price tag that was paid to get the young driver into the Roush stable.

"This is obviously going to be an interesting week for us," said McMurray of the upcoming Phoenix race. "We're going through some changes, with a new crew chief and a new engineer, and there will be an adjustment period for both myself and the team. But we all know Bob Osborne, and he's a great guy with a lot of knowledge. I'm looking forward to working with him and getting our season on track."

Earnhardt enjoying Killer: Who needs a revolving door of girlfriends to keep you company on the road when you can bring a loyal old friend who doesn't clutter your bathroom or hog the covers?

"He comes with me if he can," said Earnhardt of his boxer Killer. "He has a pretty busy schedule between my house and my sister's (Kelley Elledge) house. Karsyn (Kelley's daughter) likes to keep him a lot and every week she wants to know if he is going with me or going with her. We had to go to San Diego for the Navy appearance so he couldn't come here with me. Normally if we go straight to the track and straight home, he comes with me."

Manufacturer jumping ship? There is a rumor afloat on the Internet that an American manufacturer may be implementing a plan to make an exit from NASCAR racing. While the competing auto racing site doesn't state which carmaker it would be unlikely that Daimler-Chrysler - who just rejoined NASCAR a few years ago - would make a swift exit.

So, that leaves the burning question? Ford or GM? While word is mum with representatives in Detroit on both sides, the financial picture of those companies may leave room for thought.

Ford Motor Company reported this morning a loss of $1.2 billion in the first quarter - its worst performance in four years. Ford is currently in a restructuring phase where they are planning on cutting 30,000 jobs and closing under utilized facilities by 2012. Ford did earn $458 million in the first quarter.

General Motors reported record quarterly earnings but still posted a first quarter loss of $323 million. General Motors underwent their own restructuring recently after they lost $10.6 billion in 2005.

See.this is why your Dad told you to buy an American car.

Quick Busch series refresher course: In case you haven't been paying attention to the Busch series lately some things have scooted about:

Ryan Moore has assumed driving duties of the No. 38 Busch car - that team has switched from Dodge to Chevy beginning this weekend. Moore replaces AJ Foyt IV.

Jason Keller was released from the No. 1 Dodge on the 17th by James Finch and has been replaced by Mike Wallace.

Chris Wimmer has been fired from primary driving duties for the No. 23 Keith Coleman Racing ride. Marc Mitchell will drive the car this weekend at Phoenix.

NASCAR looses a legend: Erin Crocker, Shawna Robinson and the bevy of other female racers across NASCAR's divisions have Louise Smith to thank. Smith was known as 'the first lady of racing', competing from 1945-1956 and winning 38 modified events.

The Georgia native died last Saturday at the age of 89.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Jason Keller , Shawna Robinson , Mike Wallace , Jamie McMurray , Erin Crocker , Chip Ganassi , Chris Wimmer , Ryan Moore , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing