Richard Childress Racing makes leadership change amidst Kyle Busch struggles

One of the longest tenured employees is stepping down effective immediately

Kyle Busch is running at a standard that is beneath him and Austin Dillon continues to struggle so Richard Childress Racing is moving forward with some changes.

Effective immediately, competition director Andy Petree is retiring and Keith Rodden is taking over in an interim capacity. While it is being deemed a retirement, it’s not hard to see a scenario where Petree stepped down from this capacity while remaining part of the extended RCR family moving forward.

Petree is one of the longest tenured friends of team owner Richard Childress and also sporadically one of his longest tenured employees at various points over the past three decades.

Petree first joined the team in 1993 as the crew chief for the famed No. 3 driven by Dale Earnhardt, leaing the Hall of Famer to his sixth and seventh championships.

The pairing also produced 15 wins, seven poles, 56 top-five and 47 top-10 finishes.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Richard Childress for the impact he has had on my career, as well as the wonderful memories and on-track success we have enjoyed together,” said Petree. “Although my day-to-day involvement with RCR is changing, I will always be a fan and supporter of everyone in Welcome, North Carolina. I wish RCR the best for the rest of this season and beyond.”

This ultimately comes down to how Busch, a two-time Cup Series champion in his second season with the organization, continues to perform over the past calendar year. He currently sits 17th in the championship standings and is 45 points out of a playoff spot.

He is also in the midst of a career worst 39-race winless streak.

“Andy Petree has been a tremendous supporter of RCR for many years and we wish him success in the future,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “Our organization won two championships with Andy during his first stint at RCR, and we have made the NASCAR Playoffs and won races with him during his most recent tenure. I am grateful for his contributions to the team, leadership and friendship over the years. Keith Rodden has big shoes to fill as interim competition director, but I know his passion for motorsports and dedication will help drive RCR forward during a key time for our organization.”

Rodden is a veteran crew chief, who most recently served in that capacity for Dillon and the No. 3 team before a change was made that brought back Justin Alexander to resume his duties with that team as a result of Dillon’s struggles.

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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