LOUDON, New Hampshire – Crew chief Jason Ratcliff will be following driver Matt Kenseth on the way out of the No. 20 Toyota in 2018.
Ratcliff confirmed to NBC Sports after Kenseth’s fourth place finish Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that he won’t be returning atop the pit box next season when Erik Jones replaces Kenseth.
Ratcliff said he isn’t sure if he will stay at Joe Gibbs Racing (“We’ll see,” he said with a smile), but he expects all of the car’s team members are secure at the organization.
“We performed well this weekend in spite of the news” that Jones would replace Kenseth,” Ratcliff said. “All these guys are very good at what they do.
“I don’t think they’ll have a problem staying locked in with the 20 car or one of these cars. They’re just too good. I think for them, knowing that, that they have a secure job at Joe Gibbs Racing next year regardless of the driver change, that’s helpful. At least there’s no uncertainty on their part.”
Ratcliff said the mood has seemed good since Tuesday’s announcement about Jones (which followed Kenseth revealing the previous weekend at Kentucky that he was looking for a ride).
“It seems to be,” Ratcliff said. “We have only spoke briefly about it this week. I still was trying to get the details myself. There wasn’t a whole lot I could say to those guys because I don’t know that I knew much.”
Ratcliff has been paired with Kenseth since he joined Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013, scoring 13 victories together. He also won with Joey Logano in 2012.
He has 36 wins as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series, including 21 with Kyle Busch in 2009-10.