Joe Gibbs Racing has made some changes to its crew chief lineup for the upcoming 2016 season.
Most notable of the JGR crew chief changes is Dave Rodgers moving from the No. 11 driven by Denny Hamlin moving over to the No. 19 of Carl Edwards. Mike Wheeler will become Hamlin’s crew chief in 2016, he previously worked with the No. 20 Xfinity Series team.
Out of the equation is Darian Grubb who was Edwards’ crew chief last season. He now finds himself looking for work elsewhere.
“2015 was probably the strongest season we have ever had at Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of JGR. “We won more races than we ever have, qualified all four teams into the Chase and were blessed to end it with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. I think every year you evaluate each of your teams however and sometimes during that process you find that a change might be in the best interest for all involved. Mike Wheeler is obviously someone that has a long history with Denny (Hamlin) and that #11 team. After seeing what he accomplished as a crew chief in our XFINITY Series program last year we felt the timing was right to move him back into our Cup program. Dave Rogers has also been successful in every role he has had with us and we think he will work well with Carl (Edwards) going into 2016.”
Two crew chiefs not moving around are Adam Steven who returns to the car driven by Kyle Busch and Jason Ratcliff who will continue to be paired with Matt Kenseth.