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Turner Motorsports tabs Owens crew chief for Cup team

April 18, 2012, Team Release, NASCAR.com

Turner Motorsports names Trent Owens crew chief for Cup, teams with Bill Elliott

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Turner Motorsports announced that Trent Owens will serve as crew chief of the No. 50 Walmart Chevrolet with driver Bill Elliott in the team's Sprint Cup Series debut at Daytona International Speedway in July. Owens currently calls the shots for Turner Motorsports' No. 30 Nationwide Series entry, and recently led the team to victory in the 2012 season-opener at Daytona.

A former driver himself, Owens is a longtime fixture in the garage. The Darlington, S.C., native served as crew chief for six years for Braun Racing and remained with the organization through its acquisition by Turner Motorsports two years ago.

The goal for Elliott, who was voted NASCAR's most popular driver 16 times and is one of the sport's Top 50 drivers of all time, is to qualify and compete at the Coke Zero 400. He will also visit Walmart stores with his show car before select races.

Fans will also get to participate in Elliott's return to the 2.5-mile superspeedway by voting on what driver's suit and helmet he will wear for the race. Three different driver's suit and helmet combinations have been specifically designed for Elliott and fans can vote by visiting www.Walmart.com/NASCAR until May 14.

Elliott, the 1988 Cup champion, has 44 career wins in the series, including four at Daytona. His most recent race at Daytona was a 12th-place finish in 2011.

"It's exciting to be part of Turner Motorsports' first Cup race with Bill Elliott and support from Walmart," said Owens, who has four Nationwide wins as a crew chief. "We've come a long way in just the last two years, so to take this step is really going to be a milestone for everyone who works so hard for this team every day."

Over the years, Owens has been successful working with a variety of drivers with different levels of experience. Prior to his win in the Feb. 25 Nationwide event at Daytona with rookie James Buescher, last season Owens led veterans Mark Martin (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) and Reed Sorenson (Road America) to Victory Lane. In 2007, he served as crew chief for Dave Blaney in his win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

"Having the chance to work with Bill is icing on the cake," Owens said. "Obviously, he's had an amazing career, and I have a lot of respect for his talent and what he has accomplished over the years. Not only is this a great opportunity for Turner Motorsports, but it's a big deal for me personally."