Spencer Gallagher swaps crew chiefs for 2018 XFINITY Series run

Logan Whitton/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

Spencer Gallagher will have a new signal caller atop the box when he takes the green flag at Daytona International Speedway to start the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series season.

GMS Racing announced Thursday that veteran Chad Norris will take over crew chief duties for Gallagher in 2018, joining the No. 23 team after a two-year stint with Brennan Poole and Chip Ganassi Racing.

“Chad will bring a lot of good and solid knowledge to this XFINITY program,” GMS Racing General Manager Mike Beam said in a release. “Spencer showed a lot of improvement last season and I feel like Chad can take him to the next level. With Chad’s veteran knowledge and experience I know Spencer and this No. 23 team will succeed and excel.”

Norris enters 2018 with 13 years of experience as a crew chief in NASCAR, having held the role for various drivers in all three of NASCAR’s national series, including a brief 18-race stint in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2012. He has three-career victories, all coming in the XFINITY Series with Matt Kenseth (2005), Marcos Ambrose (2011) and Trevor Bayne (2011). Norris also has 30 top fives, 107 top 10s and six pole awards to his credit.

The veteran previously made the playoffs in consecutive seasons with Poole, though the pairing never made it to victory lane.

“I am really excited to join GMS Racing for the 2018 season,” Norris said. “We have all of the assets to build this XFINITY team into a top-tier competitor every weekend at the track. With Mike Beam and myself there is a lot of veteran knowledge to continue to not only help Spencer to grow as a driver but the XFINITY program as a whole.”

Gallagher, 28, is set to complete his second full-time season as an XFINITY Series driver in 2018. The Nevadan has earned two top 10s in 40-career starts in the series, as well as three top fives and 15 top 10s in 59 Camping World Truck Series runs.

The rookie finished 19th in the standings in 2017.

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