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Darian Grubb named crew chief for NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing said Friday that Darian Grubb would be driver Denny Hamlin's crew chief next year, the latest in a flurry of crew chief changes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

GrubbGrubb was let go by Stewart-Haas Racing despite leading Tony Stewart to his third cup championship this season. And the Hamlin spot became open Tuesday when Gibbs released Mike Ford as crew chief on Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota.

"I'm thrilled to join Joe Gibbs Racing," Grubb said in a statement. "The chance to work with Denny is something I'm excited about."

Hamlin had a relatively disappointing 2011 season, winning one race and finishing ninth in the points after winning a series-high eight races and finishing second in the standings in 2010.

Elsewhere in the series, Steve Addington left Kurt Busch and Penske Racing and then was named Stewart's crew chief. Busch and Penske parted ways as well.

Richard Childress Racing last month named Shane Wilson to replace Gil Martin as crew chief for Kevin Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: NASCAR crew chief Darian Grubb on Oct. 31 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Credit: Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images

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