All good things must end sometime. If Jimmie Johnson is to win a record setting eighth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title it will come with a different crew chief.
After 17 seasons together, the pairing of driver Jimmie Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus will end in 2019. While Johnson will return to drive the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet, the crew chief moves onto the No. 24 car which is driven by William Byron.
Darian Grubb who had been the crew chief for Byron now accepts a role with HMS as an executive in their engineering and vehicle development resources.
“It’s no secret that Chad and Jimmie have experienced their ups and downs over the years,” owner Rick Hendrick said. “They’re fierce competitors, great friends and have immense respect for one another. They also fight like brothers. All three of us agree it’s finally time for new challenges and that a change will benefit them and the organization.”
Kevin Meendering who had been a crew chief for Elliott Sadler in the Xfinity Series will take over as Johnson’s crew chief next year.
“He’s a respected, forward-thinking crew chief,” Hendrick said. “He’s the right fit for Jimmie at the right time. With an established No. 48 team behind them, I believe they will perform at a winning level next season and chase that eighth championship.”