Hendrick Motorsports makes crew chief changes for 2019

Photo by Harold Hinson Photography

By Caleb Whisler, Staff Writer

Hendrick Motorsports announced on Wednesday evening changes in their crew chief lineup for the 2019 season.

The organization announced that the 17-year relationship between Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson would end as Knaus moves over to crew chief responsibilities for William Byron and the No. 24 team.

Kevin Meendering, current crew chief for Elliott Sadler at JR Motorsport, will assume Knaus’ role as the leader of the No. 48 team. In his three seasons as a NASCAR Xfinity Series crew chief, Meendering has collected three wins, 38 top-five finishes, 75 top-10s, and the 2017 regular season title.

Darian Grubb, current crew chief for Byron, will move into an executive leadership role overseeing engineering and vehicle development resources.

“We believe these decisions will provide us with a tremendous opportunity for success in the future. As an organization, we are here to win races and compete for championships. Everything we do comes down to putting our people in the best possible positions to further that objective. Winning is what it’s all about,” Rick Hendrick said in a statement.

Hendrick explained his decision to split the Knaus-Johnson dynamic duo for 2019:

It’s no secret that Chad and Jimmie have experienced their ups and downs over the years. They’re fierce competitors, great friends and have immense respect for one another. They also fight like brothers. All three of us agree it’s finally time for new challenges and that a change will benefit them and the organization,” he said.

The 17-year relationship between Knaus and Johnson is the longest-running crew chief-driver relationship in NASCAR.

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