Darian Grubb to serve as crew chief for William Byron in 2018 (video)

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Darian Grubb will be William Byron‘s crew chief next season in Byron’s rookie Cup campaign, Hendrick Motorsports announced Wednesday.

The move completes the driver-crew chief lineup for 2018 at Hendrick Motorsports. Alan Gustafson remains with Chase Elliott, Chad Knaus remains with Jimmie Johnson and Greg Ives will be with Alex Bowman.

“This is our last major piece of the puzzle for next season,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, in a statement. “Darian is an all-around terrific person and a proven winner. The experience and leadership he brings will be a difference-maker for William and everyone on the team. He has a clear vision for the future and already is plugged in with our other crew chiefs. He’s a great fit.’’

Grubb won the 2011 Cup title with Tony Stewart. Grubb joined Joe Gibbs Racing from 2012-15, winning nine races. He rejoined Hendrick Motorsports in 2016 — he was with the organization from 2003-08 — to oversee race car manufacturing as vehicle production director and was promoted to director of competition systems in August. Last month, Grubb was named crew chief for the No. 5 team of Kasey Kahne for the remaining nine races of the season, replacing Keith Rodden. In 2018, that No. 5 team will field the No. 24 car for Byron.

“The opportunity to work with William and the No. 24 team is big,” said Grubb, a native of Floyd, Virginia, with a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Tech. “William is a phenomenal young driver and already a great communicator in the race car. I’m looking forward to building a strong relationship with him and working with Alan, Chad, Greg and all of our talented people. Everyone on the team will be committed to continuing the winning tradition of the No. 24.’’

Said Byron: “I have so much respect for Darian and everything he’s accomplished in this sport. There aren’t many people with a résumé like his, and I will definitely tap into that knowledge from day one. He knows how to win races and win championships. To have that kind of person leading the No. 24 team gives me a ton of confidence about what we can all do together.”

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