Greg Ives named crew chief for Earnhardt Jr. in 2015

July 30, 2014 No Comments

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Brian Wiggins, Senior Writer 

Hendrick Motorspors has announced that Greg Ives will return to the organization in 2015 as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No.88 Chevrolet.

Ives,34, served as race engineer for Jimmie Johnson from 2006-2010 and was part of the historic run of five-consecutive championships by the No.48 team. Since 2013, Ives has worked as a crew chief for JR Motorsports. Currently, he’s the crew chief for the points-leading No.9 team of Chase Elliott.

“Greg was our number-one choice,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “This is a talented guy who already has a terrific rapport with Dale Jr. and is a fit with the organization. He and Chad had a lot of success together, and all of our crew chiefs think the world of him and what he’s accomplished. Greg’s proven that he can win races, and he has all the tools to do big things.”

Ives will take the place of current crew chief, Steve Letarte, who will leave the pit box and season’s end to become part of the broadcast team for NBC Sports starting in July,2015.

“This is an incredible opportunity for me and my family,” Ives said. “Dale Jr. and I have a great relationship from being in the same shop at Hendrick Motorsports and my time at JRM. We have a lot left to do this season in the Nationwide Series, but I’m excited about what’s ahead and look forward to sharing some wins with JR Nation in the future. I couldn’t ask for a better situation than working with one of the best drivers and teams in racing.”

During his brief time as a crew chief, Ives has built a reputation for winning and contending for championships. Last season as crew chief for Regan Smith, the duo won two races and contended for the championship throughout the majority of the season. This season, Ives and rookie driver Elliott have won three races together, the most among Nationwide Series regulars.

“I know what Greg is all about and really respect him,” Earnhardt said. “He’s a strong leader with a cool personality, and we’re both competitors who want to win. It was important to find someone who would fit at Hendrick Motorsports and inside our shop, and he will for sure do that. We got the best guy for the job, and I look forward to working with him next year.

“From a JR Motorsports perspective, I’m extremely proud of how this worked out. Since the end of 2012, we’ve focused on JRM and Hendrick Motorsports working together as closely as possible and developing talented people for the next level. This is a perfect example of that happening the way we hoped it would.”

Letarte and Earnhardt Jr. have won two races together this season,including the season-opening Daytona 500.

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