Parrott released; interim Almirola crew chief named
October 22, 2013, Holly Cain, NASCAR.com
Richard Petty Motorsports announced Tuesday it has parted ways with veteran crew chief Todd Parrott. The move comes five days after Parrott was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for violating its substance abuse policy.
Greg Ebert will serve as interim crew chief on driver Aric Almirola's No. 43 RPM Ford for the remainder of the season. He had been car chief on the No. 43 for the past two years.
"We are confident in Greg's leadership abilities and we will give him the resources he needs to be successful," said RPM's Vice President of Operations and Competition Sammy Johns. "He is very familiar with our race program and gives us a more seamless transition. More importantly, he gives Aric the best opportunity to finish the season strong."
Johns filled in as crew chief for Parrott last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, where Almirola started on the pole and finished 22nd. Almirola is 18th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.
Almirola said during the weekend that Parrott's suspension was "definitely something that caught us all off-guard and something that we have had to just work on a day-to-day basis.''
A 19-year veteran in the Cup garage, Parrott led NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett to a 1996 Daytona 500 victory and the 1999 Cup championship.
Parrott will participate in the NASCAR Road to Recovery program.
"We have sat down and talked about it and tried to come up with the best solution for what is best for us,'' Almirola said Saturday at Talladega. "I will reiterate and I said it on Twitter yesterday or Thursday, but Todd Parrott is a good person and a good crew chief and a good friend of mine. I think he has a lot of support and a lot of people rallying behind him to get through this difficult time. That being said, we have a job to do and have to go out and race and do what is best for us. We have to figure out a plan."