It's been speculated since the announcement was made that Steve Letarte was leaving the #88 Hendrick Motorsports team to move to the broadcast booth in 2015. Who would take over as Dale Earnhardt Jr's crew chief in 2015? Well on Wednesday Hendrick Motorsports answered that question as the team announced that Greg Ives would take over as crew chief for NASCAR's Most Popular Driver starting in 2015.
said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “This is a talented guy who already has a terrific rapport with Dale Jr. and is a fit with the organization. He and Chad had a lot of success together, and all of our crew chiefs think the world of him and what he’s accomplished. Greg’s proven that he can win races, and he has all the tools to do big things.”“Greg was our number-one choice,”
Ives has spent the last two seasons working as a crew chief in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports. In the 2013 season Ives worked with Regan Smith, where the duo won two races and finished third in the series points standings that season. This season Ives has worked with Chase Elliott with JR Motorsports and has won three races with the rookie driver and currently sits atop the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me and my family,” Ives said. “Dale Jr. and I have a great relationship from being in the same shop at Hendrick Motorsports and my time at JRM. We have a lot left to do this season in the Nationwide Series, but I’m excited about what’s ahead and look forward to sharing some wins with JR Nation in the future. I couldn’t ask for a better situation than working with one of the best drivers and teams in racing.”
Prior to working in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ives was a race engineer at Hendrick Motorsports' #48 Chevrolet from 2006-2012 and helped lead the #48 team to five championships, working closely with crew chief Chad Knaus. Ives joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2004 and moved to the #48 team in the 2006 season helping lead the team to 42 victories during his tenure.
"I know what Greg is all about and really respect him,” Earnhardt said. “He’s a strong leader with a cool personality, and we’re both competitors who want to win. It was important to find someone who would fit at Hendrick Motorsports and inside our shop, and he will for sure do that. We got the best guy for the job, and I look forward to working with him next year.
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