Hendrick Motorsports has named Rudy Fugle as the crew chief for William Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. He will join the organization in mid-November.
The 36-year-old Fugle is one of the most successful crew chiefs at the NASCAR national series level. He has won two driver championships and five owner titles in the Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series. As a crew chief for Kyle Busch Motorsports since 2013, he has recorded 28 truck victories, which tie him for the second-most in series history.
Fugle will replace current No. 24 crew chief Chad Knaus, who was recently named Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of competition effective at the completion of the 2020 racing season.
“We’re pleased to welcome Rudy,” said Jeff Andrews, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “His teams have consistently performed at a championship level for many years. We believe he’s an excellent fit for our culture and will mesh extremely well with our other crew chiefs and competition personnel. In addition, Rudy and William have proven to be a successful combination with a high level of communication and trust in one another.”
A native of Livonia, New York, Fugle holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In 2006, he began his NASCAR career with Robert Yates Racing before joining Germain Racing in 2008. With KBM, he has won truck races with six different drivers: Byron, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones, Greg Biffle, and Noah Gragson.
“The opportunity to join Hendrick Motorsports is incredible for me and my family,” Fugle said. “The No. 24 has always been one of the premier teams in racing. We have the owner, the driver, the people and the resources to continue that tradition. William is a great talent, and we have a very strong working relationship. I’m confident in what this team can accomplish and look forward to the challenge of competing at the Cup level.”
In 2016, Fugle and then-rookie Byron won seven truck races in 23 starts. That season, the pair led 21% of all possible laps and earned the NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series owner championship. Byron, 22, is closing out a 2020 season in which he won his first career NASCAR Cup Series race (Daytona) and made his second consecutive playoff appearance.
“I’m excited to work with Rudy again,” Byron said. “We have a great team in place, and I know he will be the right leader to keep moving us forward. I’ve seen first-hand what he’s capable of, his competitive nature and the high standards he has. With Rudy, I believe we’ll have a chance to win every single time we go to the racetrack, which is what both of us expect.”
— Hendrick Motorsports
Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography / NKP Photo