Todd Parrott

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Todd Parrott joins Premium Motorsports as crew chief

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Todd Parrott, who won the 1999 Cup championship as crew chief for Dale Jarrett, has joined Premium Motorsports in the same role, the team announced Tuesday.

Parrott, who has 31 Cup wins, joins a leadership team that includes owner Jay Robinson, Scott Eggleston, Pat Tryson, Tommy Baldwin and Brian Keselowski.

“The addition of Todd Parrott is the culmination of a plan that started a couple of years ago,” Robinson said in a press release. “We wanted to assemble the most experienced professionals available to our team in an effort to stay relevant and competitive. We are very pleased to have Todd join our staff and are looking forward to this season as we continue to build this team.”

Parrott previously served as crew chief for Michael McDowell at Leavine Family Racing.

“I’m excited for my first day here at Premium Motorsports,” Parrott said in a team release. “I’ve been talking to Jay (Robinson) for about a month or so regarding the possibility of coming here to help him with this program. He has quite a few good people here like Pat Tryson, Scott Eggleston, Brian Keselowski and Tommy Baldwin who I actually worked with before. As I walked around the shop this morning I recognized several other people that I’ve worked with in the past as well, so I’m really looking forward to this new and different opportunity for me here. I just can’t wait to get going and get racing.”

Premium Motorsports will field entries for Danica Patrick and Justin Marks in the Feb. 18 Daytona 500. Patrick will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet and will be paired with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. Marks will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet that is also operated by Rick Ware Racing.

The team also fields entries in the Camping World Truck Series, an operation overseen by Keselowski.

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Leavine Family Racing makes crew chief change

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Leavine Family Racing announced Monday that Todd Parrott is no longer crew chief. Jon Leonard will be the interim crew chief for Michael McDowell.

Parrott took on crew chief duties with the team in Oct. 2016.

In its statement, Leavine Family Racing said that Parrott had been “relieved of crew chief duties for the remainder of the 2017 season effective immediately. After careful consideration and numerous discussions regarding the position of crew chief, we have decided to go in a different direction.”

Kasey Kahne will drive for the team next season. No crew chief for Kahne has been named.

Michael McDowell returning to Leavine Family Racing

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Michael McDowell and crew chief Todd Parrott will return this season for Leavine Family Racing, the team announced Thursday.

McDowell will drive the No. 95 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for a fourth consecutive year. McDowell had two top-10 finishes in 31 starts for the team last year, sharing the ride with Ty Dillon. McDowell recorded 10 top-20 finishes last year, including four in the last seven races.

Parrott took over full-time crew chief duties in October with seven races left in the year, helping spark the single-car team’s late run.

“With both Michael and Todd returning to the team this season we are looking to maintain the consistency we found towards the end of last year and continue to push forward and build off the positive momentum,” said Jeremy Lange, Vice President of Leavine Family Racing in a statement from the team. “We had great performances on the track last year and we’re hoping that continuing in that direction will lead to more sponsorships for the team. We do have some partner renewals that we will be announcing soon and are excited to add more.”

The team is set with a charter. It purchased one from Tommy Baldwin Racing.

Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing to field two cars for Daytona 500

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Ty Dillon and Michael McDowell each will be entered by Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing for the Daytona 500, the team announced Thursday morning.

Dillon will drive the No. 95 car, which will be guaranteed a starting spot in the field because the team’s charter is attached to that car. His car will be sponsored by Cheerios and Kroger. Todd Parrott will be his crew chief.

McDowell will drive the No. 59 car sponsored by Thrivent Financial/K-Love Radio. Dave Winston will be his crew chief. McDowell will vie for one of four open spots in the 40-car field because the team does not have a charter for that car.

Dillon finished 28th in his Daytona 500 debut last year. He’s finished in the top 10 in two of his five Xfinity starts at Daytona International Speedway.

“The Daytona 500 is such a prestigious race and it’s an incredible honor to be able to compete on this stage,” Dillon said in a team release.  “Last season I learned a lot and experienced a lot. I got to race up front with the leaders, raced in the back, had some damage we had to repair and eventually finished 28th. This season, we’re going to go out there like any other team and try to win the race.”

McDowell is seeking to make his fifth start in the Daytona 500. He finished ninth in the 2013 race.

“I think it’s a good track in that it allows any team to have a shot at running well,” McDowell said in a team release. “It’s one of the ‘opportunity’ races for our team to run up front and finish well.” The changes that we made in off season — switching to Chevrolet and aligning with RCR — has provided us with, by far, the best equipment, car and motor combination that we’ve ever brought to a superspeedway.  It’s pretty exciting because we’ve had good results at superspeedways in the past.  Hands down this is the best car we’ve ever brought to Daytona.”

The team announced last month that Dillon and McDowell will share driving duties in the No. 95 car this season. McDowell will run a majority of the races in the car.

History in the making: Watch Chase Elliott’s 1st official lap in #24

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Todd Parrott not only comes from a great racing family, but also as a veteran crew chief and team official he’s seen a lot in his lengthy racing career.

But even Parrott still gets excited about certain things in racing, especially when he’s a witness to history.

That’s what happened Monday during a Goodyear tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as Parrott chronicled the first official lap for Chase Elliott in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Check out Chase at speed as his long anticipated future has now begun as the heir apparent to Jeff Gordon in the legendary No. 24. And thanks for sharing, Todd.