Darian Grubb added an impressive stat to his resume Sunday, as he has now won his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship as crew chief in NASCAR’s most elite series.
Grubb was told six weeks prior to winning the Ford 400, that he would not return to the top of the No. 14 pit box for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season – shocking news.
“We’ll just see this coming week how things change. … (The relationship) was a little tough and strained but honestly it probably made the guys rally around a little bit more just because we felt like we were a team to beat,” Grubb said in the post-race news conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “We wanted to prove that and we just did it.”
Tony Stewart went on an impressive run during the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup, winning five of the ten races in a remarkable fashion.
“I’m not really sure what’s going to happen now,” Grubb said. “I was told early on in the Chase before Charlotte I wasn’t going to be here next year.
“We just kept fighting and doing everything we had to do every week.”
Stewart, co-owner and driver for Stewart-Haas Racing, wouldn’t say what would happen to Grubb over the off-season.
“I know what his status is the rest of the night – and I’m going to get him drunk. … We’ll worry about that tomorrow,” Stewart said. “There’s a lot of things in the offseason and a lot of decisions that have to be made and we wanted to get through this championship battle first.
“We’ll sit down as a group this week and figure out the direction of our program. The good thing right now is we’re sitting up here as champions, and I don’t think any of us are really too concerned about anything other than having fun tonight and enjoying the accomplishment.”
There are plenty of positions open within the Stewart-Haas Racing organization, as Bobby Hutchens (competition director) was let go earlier this season. Also, Danica Patrick is in need of a crew chief for next season, as she will run 10 Cup races.
Needless to say, this has the potential of being one of the ‘bigger’ stories over the coming off-season.