Kenseth/Parrott part ways

FONTANA, CA - FEBRUARY 21: Crew Chief Todd Parrott and Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Crown Royal Ford, look on from pit road prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway on February 21, 2010 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)In a bit of a surprise Matt Kenseth and crew chief Todd Parrott have parted ways. Parrott had taken over as the crew chief of the #17 car after taking over for Drew Blickensderfer earlier this year. The #17 car had four top-5 finishes and eight top-10’s with Parrott on top of the pit box.

Parrot’s successor will be another former championship crew cheif in Jimmy Fennig. Fennig, another Wisconsin native, had most recently worked with David Ragan last season. Fennig was also the crew chief for Kurt Busch during his 2004 championship season.

Fennig had been running Roush Fenway’s Racing Research and Development Center and thus far has only been named as a temporary replacement.

Fans of Kenseth and the 17 car will mention the name of Robbie Reiser many times over the coming weeks and Kenseth had pushed for Reiser to return to his pit box following the split with Blickensderfer after Daytona.

Reiser and Kenseth had been together as crew chief and driver from their Busch Series days in 1997 up until the end of the 2007 season when Reiser was named as the General Manager for Roush Fenway’s Cup Series teams. Previously Reiser and Kenseth had raced against each other at Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin. Kenseth and Reiser combined for 16 Sprint Cup wins from 1997-2007 including the 2003 Winston Cup Championship.

Kenseth is currently seventh in the Sprint Cup standings.

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