Ragan sees different role for Fennig
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- David Ragan doesn't expect Jimmy Fennig to be his crew chief in 2010.
"Yeah, I would say there will be some change in the crew chief role,'' Ragan said on Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "As far as who and when and all that stuff, that's to be determined. We still feel like we don't want to lose focus on the last two races and start planning for 2010 too early.
"As soon as the checkered flag falls on Homestead all of our thoughts will be on 2010 and preparing a stronger team.''
Ragan was expected by many to contend for the Chase after finishing 13th in the 2008 standings with 14 top 10s. He is 27th with only two top 10s with this race and next weekend's at Homestead-Miami Speedway remaining.
"Certainly we haven't had the performance this year,'' Ragan said. "We feel like the UPS team is a top 12, Chase contending team, so we feel like we've got some changes to make during the offseason.''
Ragan said Fennig, who has been at Roush Fenway Racing for 13 years, wants to head up an R&D department for the organization.
"He's been a teacher and crew chief and mentor and really taught me a lot the last couple of years,'' said Ragan, in his third full season in the Sprint Cup series. "Ninety percent of what I know today I learned from Jimmy Fennig.
"A lot of things are changing at Roush Fenway. I'm sure right after Homestead, Jack [Roush] and [general manager Robbie Reiser] will make those decisions.''
Fennig said he is waiting for management to tell him what he will be doing next season.
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.