CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 20: Kevin Harvick (2R), driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet speaks with crew chief Gil Martin (2L), during practice for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Gil Martin, who was replaced as Kevin Harvick's crew chief in the offseason, is now back atop the No. 29 team's pit box, FoxSports.com reported Monday night.
Shane Wilson has been replaced as Kevin Harvick's crew chief at Richard Childress Racing, FOXSports.com's Lee Spencer reported Monday evening, and in his spot will be a familiar face.
Gil Martin, who was Harvick's crew chief for parts of three seasons until this year, will reunite with the driver at a time when the No. 29 team seems to be a non-factor for the championship.
Harvick approached team owner Richard Childress after the Phoenix race last November and asked for Martin to be replaced, and RCR responded by pairing Harvick with Wilson – a duo which had found some success together in the Nationwide Series.
This season, though, things never clicked. Though Harvick is eighth in the point standings, he has just three top-five finishes this year (he had 16 two years ago when he strongly contended for the championship) and is winless through the first 23 races. The driver's frustration was apparent on the team radio in recent months, and Martin even joined Wilson on the pit box this weekend.
"We're just trying to turn things around to make sure we get in the Chase, then be competitive once we get into the Chase," Martin told FOXSports.com. "It's not a question of us knowing each other's history, we've worked together before.
"This is a good team. We're just trying to get things turned around."
Clearly, Harvick and his team were looking for some sort of spark to jump-start their struggling season. This move isn't a surprise considering how unhappy Harvick was and how disappointing RCR had been by its own standards this year.
As Harvick tweeted after Sunday's race:
Fun meter is at an all time low..— Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) August 19, 2012