Huntersville, NC (SportsNetwork.com) – Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Thursday
a major shake-up with its crew chiefs for its NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity
Series teams in 2015.
In Sprint Cup, JGR has reshuffled its crew chief lineup with Dave Rogers
switching from Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota to Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota,
while Hamlin’s previous crew chief, Darian Grubb, moving over to the
organization’s new fourth team, the No. 19 Toyota, with driver Carl Edwards.
Adam Stevens will switch from JGR’s No. 54 team in the Xfinity Series
(previously known as the Nationwide Series) to serve as crew chief for Busch
on the 18 team in Sprint Cup.
Jason Ratcliff will remain the crew chief for JGR’s No. 20 Sprint Cup team,
with driver Matt Kenseth. Ratcliff and Kenseth have been paired since the
start of the 2013 season.
Edwards is joining JGR for the upcoming season after driving for Roush Fenway
Racing in NASCAR’s top series since 2004.
“With the expansion of our NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operations to four teams
next year with the addition of Carl Edwards, we have been able to take a step
back and evaluate each of our teams and make decisions that we feel are best
for our organization long term,” JGR president J.D. Gibbs said in a team
Stevens spent the past four seasons as a crew chief in JGR’s Nationwide
program, leading the team to 31 race wins and 95 top-10 finishes in 124
“Like Jason and Dave previously, Adam has clearly proven that he is ready to
move into the Cup Series, and we feel that his familiarity with Kyle provides
the opportunity for us to make that move now,” Gibbs added. “We think pairing
Dave with Denny and Darian with Carl will also make each team stronger heading
into next season. Jason and Matt came together quickly, and we felt it was in
the best interest of the 20 team to keep it as is.”
Busch, Hamlin and Kenseth all qualified for this year’s 16-member Chase for
the Sprint Cup championship. Hamlin made it into the final four for the
championship round at Homestead-Miami Speedway where he finished seventh in
the season-ending race and concluded the season third in the point standings.
Edwards qualified for the Chase as well in his last year with RFR.
In the Xfinity Series, Chris Gayle will take over crew chief duties for JGR’s
No. 54 Toyota, driven by multiple drivers, while Eric Phillips will serve in
the role for the No. 18 Toyota, with new full-time driver Daniel Suarez. Mike
Wheeler will replace Kevin Kidd as crew chief for the team’s No. 20 Toyota,
also driven by multiple drivers.