Busch may get new crew chief in '10

Updated: October 25, 2009, 2:08 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several things to improve the performance of Kyle Busch's team in 2010, including the possibility of replacing crew chief Steve Addington.

"There's not a lot we can say on it," team president J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. "We just want to evaluate on what makes us the best, how do we capitalize on the resources we have, personnel, technology? How do we utilize that?

"You look at everything. It's frustrating because we know ... we've had some good runs. We just should be better than that week in and week out."

Busch failed to make the Chase for the first time since his rookie season in 2005. He has only one win over the last 21 races and nine finishes of 20th or worse after winning three of the first 10 races. He has only 11 top 10s on the season after registering 21 a year ago and 20 in 2007.

The decline in performance comes at the same time Busch has dominated in the Nationwide Series with seven wins, 23 top fives and 27 top 10s.

"Rarely do you go from running OK to now all of a sudden you're out of the box," said Gibbs, reminding no decision has been made on Addington's future. "Tony [Stewart] when he missed the Chase [in 2006], he was coming on strong consistently at the end of the season."

Asked if the performance of Busch and Addington over the final four races would determine whether they stay together, Gibbs said, "It probably has more to it than the next four weeks."

"We're all looking on how to make us better," he added, "How do we make it next year where we have three cars in the Chase and we're the ones everybody is chasing."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

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