Crew chief Steve Addington moves to Phoenix Racing

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Stewart’s former crew chief Steve Addington has been hired by Phoenix Racing where he will lead the No. 51 team.

Phoenix Racing hasn't named who will drive its No. 51 Chevrolet in 2014, but whoever it is will work with crew chief Steve Addington.

The single-car team, which was recently purchased by Nationwide and Truck Series owner Harry Scott Jr., named Addington crew chief and competition director Thursday. Addington moves over from Stewart-Haas Racing, where he was the crew chief for Tony Stewart the past two seasons.

In their first year working together, Addington and Stewart won three races and posted a ninth-place finish in points. 2013, however, was a struggle for the No. 14 team -- and SHR as a whole -- due to the changeover to the Generation 6 car and the addition of a third entry for Danica Patrick.

Stewart seemed to turn the corner in June when he won at Dover International Raceway, and afterward vehemently defended Addington, who was rumored to be on the hot seat.

But the owner-driver broke his leg Aug. 5 in a sprint car crash and missed the final 15 races of the year. Austin Dillon, Mark Martin and Max Papis served as Stewart's replacements, but collectively their best result was Martin's ninth-place finish in the September race at Richmond International Raceway.

On Tuesday, SHR named Chad Johnston as Stewart's crew chief for the upcoming season.

Since becoming a Cup crew chief in 2005, Addington has collected 20 victories and four times has seen his driver qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. In addition to Stewart, Addington has also worked with Bobby Labonte, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch.

Like SHR, Phoenix Racing has an alliance with Hendrick Motorsports which supplies the team with chassis, motors and technical data. Addington's familiarity with Hendrick equipment was one of the drawing points for Scott.

"In my opinion Steve is the perfect guy for the job," Scott said. "He is part of the Chevrolet family, the Hendrick family and I feel fortunate that he is now part of our family."

Phoenix Racing utilized various drivers last season including AJ Allmendinger, Regan Smith, Justin Allgaier and Kyle Larson. Allgaier, a rookie, is expected to drive the No. 51 full-time in 2014.

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