Crew chiefs switched for Mears, Speed

Updated: June 1, 2010, 3:47 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CONCORD, N.C. -- Red Bull Racing has swapped crew chiefs for the No. 83 car of Casey Mears and the 82 car of Scott Speed beginning with Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono.

According to the entry form, Ryan Pemberton will work with Speed and Jimmy Elledge will work with Mears, filling in for Brian Vickers, who is out for the season with blood clots.

"The whole goal is to do the best job we can until Brian returns," Mears said in a statement Tuesday. "[The swap] does make some sense if you look at from Jimmy and I having already worked together.

"This weekend is going to be a refresher course, for sure. Just trying to get caught up to speed. It does cut out a lot of the middle stuff that you have to go through with a new driver-crew chief relationship and getting to the bottom of that quicker."

Speed has struggled to four straight finishes of 23rd or worse since a 15th-place finish at Talladega and fallen to 26th in points after hovering in or around the top 12 the first six races.

The No. 83, 23rd in owner points, is out of Chase contention since Mears replaced Vickers three weeks ago at Dover. Mears finished 22nd at Dover and 29th at Charlotte.

Team officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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