Mike Ford, crew chief of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, walks on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2011 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mike Ford Out at Joe Gibbs Racing, Darien Grubb In?


There is another crew chief change for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. This time it’s at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Mike Ford, the man who helped Denny Hamlin win 17 NASCAR Cup races and earn a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup for the past five years, has been released of his duties on top of the No. 11 pit box for the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team.

The news comes after a disappointing 2011 season where the duo failed to contend for the championship, a year after a near championship winning effort and needing a wild card entry just to make the Chase.

Jenna Fryer with the Associated Press was the first to report the story on Tuesday.  “I’m kind of relieved,” Ford told the wire service. “It had been dragging on for so long, I’m actually relieved there’s finally a resolution.”

There is no official word as to who will replace Ford on top of the pit box in 2012, but all indications point toward Darian Grubb. Grubb does have a standing offer from Hendrick Motorsprots, where he worked prior to joining Stewart-Haas Racing, but that was for an engineering position. Grubb did mention last week in Las Vegas that he had been talking to many teams about possibly job offers.

Mike Ford has been with NASCAR’s top circuit for 12 seasons. In addition to the 17 wins with Hamlin, he was the crew chief for the 1988 Cup champion Bill Elliott from 2000-2003, winning four times. He has also worked with Dale Jarrett, Terry Labonte, Jason Leffler, and J.J. Yeley.

Stay tuned with StockCarSpin.com for the latest on this developing story. 

Tags: Darian Grubb Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Mike Ford NASCAR Sprint Cup

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