Joe Gibbs Racing Makes Changes to XFINITY Crew Chief Lineupby Kyle Pokrefky January 10, 2016 0 comments
Joe Gibbs Racing has made some changes to its crew chief lineup for its three NASCAR XFINITY Series teams ahead of the 2016 season.
While the number of teams JGR will field will remain the same for the upcoming season, two team numbers have changed and only one crew chief from the 2015 campaign returning for 2016.
Chris Gayle, 2015 crew chief for the No. 54 team, will return to JGR’s XFINITY program as the crew chief for the newly-renumbered No. 18 ‘star car.’
Drivers expected to compete in the No. 18 for 2016 include Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin – who combined for nine XFINITY wins in 2015.
Gayle has been a crew chief in the JGR organization since 2013 and is an eight-time race winner with Busch, Erik Jones and Elliott Sadler.
Daniel Suarez will receive a new car number and a new crew chief for 2016 as he will race a No. 19 Toyota and will be crew-chiefed by 2015 championship-winning crew chief, Scott Graves.
Graves moves to JGR as a four-time race winner in the XFINITY ranks with 2015 champion Chris Buescher and Carl Edwards.
Jones’s first full season in the XFINITY Series will come in JGR’s No. 20 Toyota – the car that he earned his first series victory in at Texas Motor Speedway in April.
For his rookie season, Jones will be paired up with crew chief Chris Gabehart.
Gabehart will make his NASCAR debut as a crew chief in 2016 and moves to the No. 20 team after serving as a race engineer on JGR’s No. 11 Sprint Cup team.
Sponsor announcements for each team are to be expected at a later date as well as announcements regarding the No. 18 team’s full driver lineup.
Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images