By: Pete Pistone – @PPistone on October 27, 2015 | 3:00 P.M. EST
Greg Biffle’s No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Sprint Cup Series team will reportedly have a new crew chief in 2016. (Photo: Getty Images)
It appears Greg Biffle will have a new crew chief in 2016.
A report from Motorsport.com has Matt Puccia being ushered aside for Brian Pattie, who will be without a job once Michael Waltrip Racing closes its doors at season’s end. Pattie worked with Clint Bowyer at MWR before being shifted to David Ragan’s No. 55 entry at mid-season.
Pattie will reportedly take over Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 16 team with Biffle next season while Puccia is reassigned to another position within the company.
Still Winless in 2014
The clock is winding down on four drivers that won a ago who have yet to win in 2015. Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola, AJ Allmendinger and Jeff Gordon have just four races left to match last season’s success. Only Gordon remains alive in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
JR Motorsports Shuffle
There will be a new look to the JR Motorsports XFINITY Series program next season. Elliott Sadler was announced as a new member of the team several weeks ago and Regan Smith has confirmed that he will not return to the No. 7 Chevrolet.
Ben Rhodes, who ran a limited schedule this season, also announced that he would not return to the team. It appears that the second full-time car will be driven by Justin Allgaier, who was shuffled out of the HScott Motorsports Sprint Cup Series ride in favor of Clint Bowyer.
Reports have Allgaier and Brandt sponsorship moving to JR Motorsports, giving the organization a pair of full-funded full-time teams. The No. 88 entry will once again feature an “all-star” lineup of Cup drivers including Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick.
New Look for the XFINITY Series
Speaking of NASCAR’s No. 2 division, the official 2016 schedule was released Monday with several changes.
Chicagoland Speedway will no longer host a stand-alone summer date, with that race heading to Pocono as part of the annual June Sprint Cup weekend. It will mark the series’ first appearance at the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” in Pennsylvania.
The first of two visits to Iowa Speedway will be part of an XFINITY-Truck Series doubleheader in June. The series returns for a stand-alone weekend in late July.
The August Mid-Ohio race will now occupy what will be an off-weekend for the Sprint Cup Series while Road America in late August will be held the same weekend as a Sprint Cup-Truck Series twin bill at Michigan International Speedway.
It should make for an interesting time for teams to plan their schedules and when Cup regulars will be able to double-dip into the series.
Martinsville Entry Lists
This coming weekend’s Sprint Cup-Camping World Truck Series doubleheader at Martinsville Speedway will see only David Gilliland and Timmy Hill attempting double duty. Matt Kenseth’s son Ross will make his Truck Series debut in Saturday’s Kroger 200.
Forty-three drivers are entered for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway so all will run in the opening event of the Chase’s Eliminator Round.