CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Carl Edwards and Jamie McMurray got new crew chiefs Thursday in a Roush Racing shakeup designed to jump-start their struggling teams.

Although car owner Jack Roush placed all five of his teams in the Chase for the championship last season, only Matt Kenseth and Mark Martin are currently ranked in the top 10.

If the playoffs started this week, Edwards, McMurray and Greg Biffle would all be locked out.

“Jack is known for deciding the time has come for a change,” team president Geoff Smith said. “His general philosophy is, if we don’t get a couple things better, we’re going to have a couple drivers miss out on the Chase.”

Smith said the shakeup is primarily aimed at helping McMurray, who is off to a slow start in his first season at Roush Racing. He left Chip Ganassi Racing this season to take over the car Kurt Busch drove to the 2004 Nextel Cup championship, but hasn’t seemed comfortable working with crew chief Jimmy Fennig.

The need for a change became obvious last weekend in Texas, when McMurray’s setup wasn’t close to the other Roush cars and he qualified 41st and finished 37th.

“Not everybody was on the same page with regard to what was going on underneath the car,” Smith said.

“Jack said the fastest way to get Jamie’s fleet closer to what Carl’s is, what most of Mark Martin’s is, what Matt Kenseth’s is, is to change the crew chief there.”

So Fennig, who became a Cup crew chief 20 years ago and won a championship with Busch, will now head Roush’s Busch Series program.

Bob Osborne, who led Edwards to his spectacular rookie season last year, will take over McMurray’s team.

But taking Edwards’ crew chief away could be risky considering the success the duo had last year.

Osborne helped Edwards to four victories, a berth in the Chase for the championship and their team finished third in the series standings.

Although Edwards is also slumping this year – he’s 22nd in the points – most of his troubles have stemmed from accidents and not performance.

A spokesman for Edwards said he wasn’t available for comment Thursday evening.

He’ll now be teamed with Wally Brown, who was the head engineer on Edwards’ team. Brown began his career at Roush as an engineer on Mark Martin’s team, and moved into the lead position on Edwards’ crew last season.

Smith said they were confident Edwards wouldn’t suffer any drop-off under Brown.

“We don’t think Carl will be affected in the slightest in a negative way,” Smith said.

There’s still plenty of time for Roush to salvage this season, which has been a disappointment for everyone besides Kenseth and Martin. In 35 combined starts this season, the team has only one win, seven top-fives and 15 top-10 finishes. Kenseth is currently ranked second, and Martin is fourth.

AP Sports Writer Chris Jenkins in Milwaukee contributed to this report.

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