Friday, August 1, 2014

Greg Ives named crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Ives led Chase Elliott to his first Nationwide Series win at Texas earlier this season
With Steve Letarte leaving for the broadcast booth at the end of this season, everyone has been wondering who will take over as crew chief for the No. 88. Speculation began soon after Letarte broke the news he wouldn't return, but it wasn't until Wednesday that Greg Ives was announced as Letarte's successor. Ives, who is currently crew chief for Chase Elliott in the Nationwide Series, has experienced success during his time on top of the pit box.

Before calling the shots for Chase Elliott, Ives led Regan Smith to a third-place finish in the Nationwide Series standings in 2013. Ives has five career wins in the Nationwide Series: two with Smith (Talladega and Michigan) and three with Elliott so far in 2014 (Texas, Darlington and Chicago). Ives and Elliott are currently the points leader in the Nationwide Series.

This won't be Ives first go round at Hendrick Motorsports. Prior to his tenure with JRM in the Nationwide Series, Ives was engineer for Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 team and worked closely with Chad Knaus from 2006 to 2012.

Before the announcement was made, I had a strong feeling Ives would be Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s new crew chief. I believe Ives will work well with Earnhardt Jr. and also be able to understand and listen to his driver.

When I listen to the exchange between Letarte and Earnhardt Jr. on the race scanner, I notice that they understand each other and that, in turn, helps Letarte make the right adjustments to the car during pit stops.  I believe Ives will be able to be the same with the No. 88.  Just look at how well he’s been doing in the Nationwide Series.

Ives is an up-and-coming crew chief. If history has demonstrated anything with Chad Knaus, this could be the start of a great driver and crew chief relationship. Ives and Elliott have the potential to win the Nationwide Championship this season. Consider how incredible it would be for Ives to secure JRM’s first championship and then move over to crew chief the boss himself.

However the season ends, I'm looking forward to seeing Ives atop the No. 88 pit box.

Welcome to the team, Greg Ives!

0 comments :

Post a Comment