Richard Childress Racing has named Slugger Labbe to a leading role in their research and development efforts, which will be effective following the NASCAR race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway later this month. Justin Alexander, currently a race engineer on the No. 27 Menards Chevrolet team, will take over the crew chief role with Paul Menard as the driver.
Alexander, 33, is a native of Charlotte and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University.
He started his NASCAR career at Hendrick Motorsports as the shock specialist for the No. 24 and No. 48 teams in 2003, became lead engineer on the No. 48 team in 2005, moved to a R&D engineer in 2006 and then was named lead engineer for the No. 24 team in 2009.
During his tenure there, Alexander was part of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. He joined RCR in January of this year.
"I appreciate the opportunity RCR is giving me to lead the No. 27 team and Paul," Alexander said. "Working with Slugger has been a valuable learning experience and I appreciate him helping me make the transition into this new role.
"I'm really excited to work with Paul and all the guys on this Menards team. Paul is a talented driver and I'm looking forward to what this team can accomplish in 2015."
Labbe has been with RCR since 2010 as crew chief for Menard. Together, they earned a victory in the 2011 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 13 top-five and 43 top-10 finishes.
A native of Saco, Maine, Labbe has been in NASCAR since 1986 and in the crew chief capacity since 1998. During that time, Labbe worked at Robert Yates Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. It was at DEI when Labbe led Michael Waltrip to the 2003 Daytona 500 victory.
"I'm looking forward to slowing down in my NASCAR career a little bit and spending more time with my family," Labbe said. "This is a good move for RCR, Paul and the No. 27 team and I'm going to be there to help Justin with the upcoming transition.
"With NASCAR's new rules for 2015, this is a unique opportunity for me to help RCR grow and be successful by helping out with their R&D efforts."
Menard, the 34-year old native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin is currently 20th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Driver Points standings.
"Slugger is a great leader and will be a huge asset in making RCR stronger in his new role with the team," he said. "I am looking forward to working with Justin. Throughout this season, he has shown the qualities and potential to be a great crew chief."