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Joe Gibbs Racing Reveals 2015 Crew Chief Lineup

Joe Gibbs Racing Reveals 2015 Crew Chief Lineup

by December 5, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Joe Gibbs Racing revealed their crew chief lineups for their Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series teams for the 2015 season on Thursday morning.

Making up the lineup for the team’s Sprint Cup operation will be Jason Ratcliff, Dave Rogers, Darian Grubb, and Adam Stevens.

Ratcliff is the only crew chief who will remain with his 2014 team as he will return as Matt Kenseth’s crew chief on the No. 20 team next season.

Rogers moves over to Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 team from Kyle Busch’s No. 18 team while Hamlin’s 2014 crew chief, Grubb, moves to the new No. 19 team with driver Carl Edwards.

Stevens will partner with Busch at the Sprint Cup level after working with him in the XFINITY Series in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. 2015 will be Stevens’ first year as a crew chief in the Sprint Cup Series.

“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,” J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing, said. “Like Jason and Dave previously, Adam (Stevens) has clearly proven that he is ready to move into the Cup Series and we feel that his familiarity with Kyle (Busch) provides the opportunity for us to make that move now.

“We think pairing Dave (Rogers) with Denny (Hamlin) and Darian (Grubb) with Carl (Edwards) will also make each team stronger heading into next season. Jason (Ratcliff) and Matt (Kenseth) came together quickly and we felt it was in the best interest of the 20 team to keep it as is.

For Joe Gibbs Racing’s XFINITY Series operation, Eric Phillips will be the crew chief for the No. 18 car, Chris Gayle will crew chief for the No. 54 car, and Mike Wheeler will serve as crew chief for the No. 20 car.

Phillips will crew chief for series rookie Daniel Suárez after previously serving as crew chief for Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 truck in the Camping World Truck Series for the 2014 season – a season where he won the owners’ championship with Busch and Erik Jones.

Gayle moves over to JGR’s No. 54 team after spending two seasons as Elliott Sadler’s crew chief on JGR’s now defunct No. 11 team. In his two years with the No. 11 team, Gayle led Sadler to one victory, 16 top-fives, and 45 top-10 finishes in 66 races.

Wheeler previously served as an engineer for JGR’s No. 11 Sprint Cup team and served as crew chief for the team in six races while Grubb was serving a suspension. He will make his XFINITY Series debut in 2015.

“The XFINITY Series has been very important to us at Joe Gibbs Racing,” Gibbs continued. “Not only from a driver development standpoint, but also in the development of crew chiefs and other team members that eventually make their way into our Cup programs.

“Mike Wheeler has been a vital part of our success with Denny on the Cup side and we’re excited that he will have a chance to be a crew chief. It is a similar transition to the one we made with Chris Gayle a couple of years ago, and Chris will remain with us, but move over to the 54 Toyota with Kyle. We’re also excited to have Eric Phillips join our operations from KBM to work with Daniel Suarez next season.”

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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