Crew chief changes for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015

By The Sports NetworkDec. 4, 2014 at 3:29 PM
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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 release.

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 starts.

"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.

[SportsNetwork.com]

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