Mike Ford replaces Irwin as Almirola’s crew chief

Richard Petty Motorsports asserted its commitment to winning with the hiring of Chase-proven Mike Ford as crew chief for the #43 team and driver Aric Almirola. The veteran crew chief joins the team after leading Denny Hamlin's #11 team to six straight post-season appearances in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ford will join the team immediately and will be atop the pit box in Talladega. The 42-year-old Morristown, Tenn., native spent the past six seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing as Hamlin's crew chief. In that span, he led his team to 17 wins, 66 top-five finishes and 108 top-10 finishes and never missed a Chase appearance. The 12-year Sprint Cup veteran also previously held crew chief roles for Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing and Bill Elliott at Evernham Motorsports. Ford replaces Greg Erwin, who joined the team in mid-2011. Richard Petty Motorsports

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