Marcus Richmond joins Kyle Busch Motorsports to crew chief for Noah Gragson in 2017

Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images

With JR Motorsports shutting down their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series program, crew chief Marcus Richmond is making a move.

Richmond will join Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2017, the organization announced Wednesday. The veteran signal caller will be paired with incoming rookie Noah Gragson in the team’s No. 18 Toyota.

Richmond took to Twitter to express his excitement over the news shortly after the announcement.

The tweet reads: “Looking forward to 2017 with @NoahGragson and everyone at @KBMteam ! Also glad to be back with @ToyotaRacing a great wining combination”

With the announcement, Richmond joins crew chiefs Rudy Fugle and Kevin Manion. Fugle will work with Christopher Bell in the No. 4 entry, while Manion will lead the No. 51 team with drivers Harrison Burton, Kyle Busch, Myatt Snider and Todd Gilliland.

Richmond has gone to victory lane at least once as a crew chief in each of the last five seasons, including a season-opening win at Daytona International Speedway with eventual series champion Johnny Sauter in 2016. After the victory, veteran made the move to JRM for the majority of the season, completing the final 16 races of the tour with Cole Custer.

Custer’s results took a marked step in the right direction upon Richmond’s arrival. While the rookie failed to make the Chase, his average 9.69 average finish in Richmond’s tenure was more than five positions above the 15.57 average Custer mustered in the opening seven races. Custer earned 12 top 10s, four top fives and two runner-up results in the pair’s 16 races, including a memorable second-place finish to John Hunter Nemechek at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

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