Richard “Slugger” Labbe has replaced Gil Martin as crew chief on Richard Childress Racing’s Number-3 Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet for driver Austin Dillon, with Martin picking up Labbe’s previous responsibilities in the organization’s research and development department. The Sprint Cup Series is idle next weekend so the first race for the newly structured team will come June 28th in Sonoma, California. Through the first fifteen races of the season, Dillon stands twenty-third in points with just one top-ten finish – that being tenth place on April 19th at Bristol. He finished twentieth this past weekend in Michigan.
Viva Motorsports – a NASCAR X-FINITY Series team based in China Grove, North Carolina – is ceasing operations effective this week. A statement released Monday from team owner Jamie Dick read, in part, “… my family and I cannot continue to make the personal and financial commitments that this sport requires. I have always been proud of the quality of race team we brought to the track. Instead of lessening that quality, we decided to take a step back from the sport.” Dick drove in two races earlier this season before being diagnosed with new onset diabetes. He was sidelined for two months and returned to competition May 17th at Iowa Speedway, where he finished twenty-fifth in the 3-M 250. Jeffrey Earnhardt and Brandon Gdovic also shared time behind the wheel this season, with Earnhardt’s twelfth-place finish at Bristol the team’s best. Earnhardt finished thirty-fourth on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway in his most recent outing. All the team’s assets have been purchased and the Number-55 car is expected to be entered in a handful of races during the second half of the season.