Joe Gibbs Racing made headlines during the winter when it shuffled the majority of its crew chiefs. As part of that shuffle, Dave Rogers moved over from working with Kyle Busch on the No. 18 M&Ms side to join Denny Hamlin as his crew chief on the No. 11 FedEx team.
Rogers and Hamlin have been a crew chief/driver combo before in JGR’s Xfinity Series program, so familiarity isn’t a problem for them. And as Rogers told NASCAR AMERICA’s Dave Burns, neither is figuring out what he can do with Hamlin that he couldn’t do with Busch – or vice versa.
“I haven’t looked at it like that,” Rogers explained to Burns. “The relationship with Denny and I has been in place for a while now, dating back to 2005 with some [research and development] stuff on the Cup side and 2006 on the [Xfinity] side. So when [team owner] Joe [Gibbs] told me he was gonna pair us up, I was happy about it.
“We had a good run, Kyle and I. We had a lot of fun. Kyle’s a great friend and we went through a lot of learning experiences together. That’s a relationship I’ll always value. But it’s nice to get a little change, spice things up, and go back to a driver I’m familiar with in Denny.
“[Hamlin and I] haven’t really put anything on paper. We’re gonna go out there, we’re gonna race as hard as we can race, and hopefully, we can get down to Homestead and give them a run for their money.”
For more of Rogers’ thoughts on the year ahead, check out his full interview with Burns at the top.