Nascar 2018
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Nascar 2018

Darian Grubb to lead William Byron's 2018 rookie Cup campaign

Darian Grubb is returning as a full-time crew chief in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next season.

Darian Grubb to lead William Byron's 2018 rookie Cup campaign
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Darian Grubb
William Byron, JR Motorsports Chevrolet
Darian Grubb
William Byron and Rick Hendrick
Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet crew chief Darian Grubb

Grubb, who has been working an interim crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne in recent weeks, was named crew chief for incoming Cup series rookie William Byron at HMS beginning next season.

Grubb, 42, led Tony Stewart to the 2011 Cup championship and has earned 23 series victories, tying him for third among active full-time crew chiefs. His drivers have won 18 poles and earned 72 top-five and 132 top-10s finishes.

“This is our last major piece of the puzzle for next season,” said team owner Rick Hendrick. “Darian is an all-around terrific person and a proven winner. The experience and leadership he brings will be a difference-maker for William and everyone on the team.

“He has a clear vision for the future and already is plugged in with our other crew chiefs. He’s a great fit.”

The Grubb-Byron combination fills out the 2018 Hendrick Motorsports lineup for the 2018 season, which includes the crew chief and driver pairings of Alan Gustafson with Chase Elliott, Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson, and Greg Ives with fellow newcomer Alex Bowman.

“The opportunity to work with William and the No. 24 team is big,” said Grubb. “William is a phenomenal young driver and already a great communicator in the race car.

“I’m looking forward to building a strong relationship with him and working with Alan, Chad, Greg and all of our talented people. Everyone on the team will be committed to continuing the winning tradition of the No. 24.”

Byron, 19, is currently competing for the Xfinity Series championship with JR Motorsports. He has three wins this season and is second in the playoff standings.

“I have so much respect for Darian and everything he’s accomplished in this sport,” Byron said. “There aren’t many people with a résumé like his, and I will definitely tap into that knowledge from day one.

“He knows how to win races and win championships. To have that kind of person leading the No. 24 team gives me a ton of confidence about what we can all do together.”

Grubb originally joined HMS in January 2003. He served as the lead race engineer for the No. 48 Chevrolet and Johnson from 2003-2006, including four races as interim crew chief during the team’s 2006 championship season.

Grubb earned one win in 2007 as crew chief for Casey Mears before being named engineering manager for the Nos. 5 and 88 Hendrick Motorsports teams for 2008. He rejoined HMS in January 2016 after stints as crew chief with Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Last month, Grubb was named crew chief for the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team for the remaining nine races of the 2017 season. The current No. 5 team will become the No. 24 team in 2018.

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