After serving as crew chief for the No. 14 car over the past two seasons at Stewart-Haas Racing, Steve Addington is jumping to Phoenix Racing to be crew chief for its No. 51 Chevrolet, which is currently without a driver.
Addington helped Tony Stewart earn four wins across 2012 and 2013 (2012 – Las Vegas, Fontana, Daytona 400; 2013 – Dover), and also led efforts from substitute drivers Mark Martin, Austin Dillon and Max Papis following Stewart’s season-ending crash in a sprint car race this past August.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Phoenix Racing team and working with [owner] Harry [Scott Jr.],” Addington said in a team statement. “Harry has a vision to make this team a championship contender and I am excited to be part of it.”
“In my opinion Steve is the perfect guy for the job,” Scott himself said. “He is part of the Chevrolet family, the Hendrick family and I feel fortunate that he is now part of our family.”
Addington will replace Jimmy Elledge, who served as the No. 51’s interim crew chief for the final six races of this year’s Sprint Cup season after Nick Harrison left to become the crew chief for Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 team in the Nationwide Series.
Phoenix hopes that Addington can be a mainstay as the team looks for a sense of stability after using a whopping 12 drivers this past season. The last of which was upcoming Sprint Cup rookie and NNS rookie of the year Kyle Larson, who finished 15th last Sunday in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.