Roush Fenway Racing has apparently lost yet another of its top talents to arch-rival Joe Gibbs Racing.
Citing unidentified sources, Motorsport.com is reporting that crew chief Scott Graves has left RFR and will assume the same position at JGR with 2015 Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year Daniel Suarez in the No. 18 Arris Toyota.
Graves, who joined RFR in 2006, was expected to follow defending Xfinity champ Chris Buescher to his new position in the Sprint Cup Series with Front Row Motorsports, which will have a technical alliance with RFR.
Buescher won two races in 2015 and displayed outstanding consistency, particularly late in the season when his fellow challengers crept closer and closer, amassing a per-race finishing average of 8.4.
He was expected to return to RFR and to defend his Xfinity title until a unique partnership was forged between FRM allowing Buescher to jump to the Sprint Cup Series with Roush backing.
Graves replaces Eric Phillips, who has amassed 37 wins in his career as a crew chief, all in the Camping World Truck Series.
The Suarez-Phillips pairing resulted not only in Suarez’ ROY achievement, he also finished fifth in the overall Xfinity standings.
Phillips, according to the Motorsport.com report, will likely be promoted to car chief for the No. 19 car of Carl Edwards and newly named Dave Rogers in the Sprint Cup Series.