On Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Greg Ives has been named as crew chief on the No. 88 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2015. He will replace Steve Letarte, who will join NBC Sports’ broadcast team next year. Letarte will finish out the year as the No. 88 crew chief.
“Greg was our number one choice,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “This is a talented guy who already has a terrific rapport with Dale Jr. and is a fit with the organization. He and Chad (Knaus, Jimmie Johnson’s crew chief at HMS) had a lot of success together, and all of our crew chiefs think the world of him and what he’s accomplished. Greg’s proven that he can win races, and he has all the tools to do big things.”
Ives has been a Nationwide Series crew chief at the Earnhardt-owned JR Motorsports the last couple of years. During that time, he’s been a part of five Nationwide wins, including three wins this season as crew chief for series rookie and points leader Chase Elliott and the No. 9 JRM team.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me and my family,” Ives said. “Dale Jr. and I have a great relationship from being in the same shop at Hendrick Motorsports and my time at JRM. We have a lot left to do this seaeson in the Nationwide Series, but I’m excited about what’s ahead and look forward to sharing some wins with JR Nation in the future. I couldn’t ask for a better situation than working with one of the best drivers and teams in racing.”
Prior to his current position as crew chief at JR Motorsports, Ives worked for the Hendrick organization as a race engineer on the No. 48 team led by crew chief Chad Knaus with driver Jimmie Johnson. He was a part of the No. 48 team during its run of five-straight Sprint Cup championships between 2006 and 2010. In all, Ives worked with Knaus at HMS for seven years, working as a mechanic on the No. 48 team for two years before being promoted to his position as race engineer. The No. 48 team and No. 88 team are in the same building at the Hendrick Motorsports compound.
“I know what Greg is all about and really respect him,” Earnhardt said. “He’s a strong leader with a cool personality, and we’re both competitors who want to win. It was important to find someone who would fit at Hendrick Motorsports and inside our shop, and he will, for sure, do that. We got the best guy for the job, and I look forward to working with him next year.”