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Berrier to take over as crew chief for Smith, No. 78

July 25, 2012, , NASCAR.com

Replaces Rondeau at Furniture Row; Hyder named crew chief for Labonte

Two single-car Sprint Cup teams announced crew chief changes Tuesday, as veteran Todd Berrier moved from JTG Daugherty to Furniture Row, with David Hyder immediately being named as Berrier's interim replacement.

Those moves follow last week's announcement from Roush Fenway Racing that Bob Osborne would be moving into a management position and replaced on the pit box by Chad Norris.

Berrier (Getty)

Berrier replaces Pete Rondeau, who will oversee the team's research and development department. And he won't have much time to introduce himself to driver Regan Smith and the rest of the No. 78 Chevrolet team, seeing as he'll be put to work immediately.

"Furniture Row Racing has a reputation in the Sprint Cup garage for its commitment and potential," Berrier said. "I welcome this opportunity and can't wait to begin my new position at Indianapolis this weekend."

Berrier joined JTG Daugherty at the start of the year after 11 seasons with Richard Childress Racing. During that span, Berrier guided Kevin Harvick to three berths in the Chase and victories in the 2003 Brickyard 400 and 2007 Daytona 500.

"Todd will be a great fit with our operation," Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said. "The skill sets he has acquired during a successful crew chief career will be valuable assets as we move forward with a high level of energy and anticipation."

Smith is currently 26th in the standings with a season-best of 14th at Darlington, where the team scored its first victory last year.

Berrier served as both crew chief and general manager for JTG Daugherty, so in addition to naming Hyder as interim crew chief of the No. 47 Toyota, Bobby Hutchens was hired to handle general manager duties.

"Bobby Hutchens is someone I have admired for a long time and the individual I've turned to many times for direction over my 18 years as a car owner," co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "In my opinion, he is the best in the business and we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber step in to help steer our team in the right direction during this important transition."

Unlike Berrier, Hyder won't need to switch desks. As crew chief for the team's K&N Pro Series East team, he's already familiar with the operation, one reason why Geschickter said it was an easy decision to put him in that role while the team searches for a permanent replacement.

It's also a move that gives some reassurance to driver Bobby Labonte.

"Hyder has been in our race shop all year with the K&N Pro Series East team and he knows all the guys and some of them have worked on his cars," Labonte said. "The fact that he already knows everyone and has experience in the Cup Series makes him a great choice to help us in our transition."

Labonte is currently 23rd in the points, with one top-10 finish -- that coming at Daytona earlier this month.