Reiser takes on GM role at Roush Fenway Racing

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- One of the longest tenured crew chief-driver relationships in Nextel Cup will end after Sunday's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Robbie Reiser, who has been Matt Kenseth's crew chief since they entered NASCAR's premier series in 2000 and long before that in the Busch Series, has been named general manager at Roush Fenway Racing.

He will replace Max Jones, who will move into the GM role at Robert Yates Racing. RYR and Roush recently formed an alliance that basically will allow them to work as a seven-car operation without violating NASCAR's four-car cap.

"This is a great opportunity for me and I'm looking forward to the next phase of my racing career," Reiser said in a statement released Thursday. "If it's anywhere near as fun, competitive, and successful as the previous phase, then we're going to be in good shape. It wasn't an easy decision to stop being the crew chief of the No. 17 team, but now I get to work with all of our Cup teams and help improve our performance as a whole. I'm looking forward to the new challenge."

Reiser will follow in the footsteps of his father, who was the general manager of Roush"s Busch Series and Truck Series teams. The elder Reiser lost a battle with cancer prior to the Homestead race two years ago, which prompted his son to consider a move that would allow him more time with his family.

"You look at things that you do in the long term," he said late last season. "Family becomes more important. ... My dad spent a lot of time with my kids. When he isn't around anymore somebody has to fill that void."

Reiser hoped to get the Roush GM job last season that ultimately went to Jones.

"I've done this for [13] years for Matt," he said at the time. "Not that I'm sick and tired of it or don't enjoy it or any of that, but somewhere along the line you've got to move to the next challenge.

"And the next challenge probably would be to oversee an operation in the garage. That's something I want to do down the road."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com