Martin Truex Jr. gets new crew chief

Updated: June 7, 2011, 5:29 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Martin Truex Jr. will have a new crew chief beginning with this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway.

Pat Tryson has been replaced by lead engineer Chad Johnston with the team struggling at 21st in points.

"Chad's been a great addition to the NAPA team ever since he joined us last season," Truex said in a statement. "He jumped in and really helped with the preparation our cars.

"He's shown a lot of leadership in his position and has shown me he really understands a race car. He also understands all the tools at his disposal here at Michael Waltrip Racing since he's an engineer. His personality and mine mesh really well," he said.

Tryson said he remains under contract with MWR and isn't sure what his new responsibilities will be.

"Somebody always has to be that guy," he told ESPN.com. "I wouldn't say I was part of the problem. As a company we aren't running well. It's a strange deal. I really can't say much."

Truex said Johnston is good at getting information from him about the car to help improve the setup.

"The communication between he and I is impressive and we just click," Truex said.

Tryson left Kurt Busch's team at Penske Racing after the 2009 season. He and Truex have gone winless with only one top five and 10 top 10s in 49 races.

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

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter