Kasey Kahne’s current crew chief will be William Byron’s future crew chief.
Hendrick Motorsports said Wednesday that Darian Grubb would serve as Byron’s crew chief in 2018. Byron is moving up to the Cup Series from the Xfinity Series and effectively taking Kahne’s spot with the team.
Byron will drive the No. 24 car next season, though he’ll inherit Kahne’s current team and infrastructure. Chase Elliott’s No. 24 team will be rebranded as the No. 9 team when Elliott switches numbers next season.
“This is our last major piece of the puzzle for next season,” team owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “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.”
Grubb was named Kahne’s crew chief in September and replaced Keith Rodden. Grubb won the 2011 Cup Series title as Tony Stewart’s crew chief when Stewart won five of the 10 playoff races that season. Stewart did that after the team made the decision to replace Grubb atop the pit box.
Grubb moved to Joe Gibbs Racing before returning to Hendrick Motorsports in 2016. He worked for Hendrick before becoming Stewart’s crew chief at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009.
Greg Ives, currently Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief, will serve as the crew chief for Alex Bowman in the No. 88 in 2018. The pairings of Alan Gustafson and Elliott and crew chief Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson will not change in 2018.
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