Joe Gibbs Racing on Wednesday announced that Chris Gayle will continue as crew chief for Erik Jones next season.
Gayle has been Jones’ crew chief this season in the latter’s rookie NASCAR Cup campaign in the No. 77 Toyota Camry of Furniture Row Racing.
Jones and Gayle will now move from the No. 77 after this season to the JGR No. 20 Toyota Camry in the 2018 season.
“I’m very excited to work with Erik again in 2018 and continue to build on our rookie season of 2017,” Gayle said in a media release. “I think the lessons we learned together this year will be invaluable to us next season.
“I’m also very excited to be coming back to JGR and work with all the great people and familiar faces in that organization.”
Gayle had previously worked with JGR before moving to FRR and Jones for 2017. He spent four years as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series with JGR, working with several drivers including Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Elliott Sadler, Jones and others following a successful career as a race engineer for JGR.
During his four years as a crew chief in the NXS, Gayle earned 20 wins, including one with Jones at Chicagoland Speedway in 2015, 52 top-five finishes, 91 top-10 finishes and 17 pole starting positions.
In their first NASCAR Cup season together, Jones and Gayle have combined thus far for five top-5 finishes, 14 top-10s and one pole.
Their best performance to date was runner-up in the August race at Bristol, where Jones led 260 laps before being overtaken by Kyle Busch for the win.
Jones enters this weekend’s season-ending race at Miami holding a 14-point lead over future JGR teammate Daniel Suarez for Sunoco Rookie of the Year.