Hendrick Motorsports didn’t have to look far to find a new crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Greg Ives, a former engineer on Jimmie Johnson’s Sprint Cup Series team and currently Chase Elliott’s crew chief in the Nationwide Series, will assume the same role for Earnhardt in the Cup series beginning next season.
Ives, 34, will replace the No. 88 team’s crew chief, Steve Letarte, who will move into a broadcasting role with NBC Sports after the 2014 Cup season.
For the remainder of the year, Letarte and Ives will remain in their current roles.
“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.”
This season at JR Motorsports, Ives and Elliott, the 18-year-old son of 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Bill Elliott, have won three races and lead the points standings. Ives served as crew chief last season for Regan Smith, who won two races and finished third in the standings.
A native of Bark River, Mich., and graduate of Michigan Tech, Ives joined HMS as a mechanic in 2004 before moving into an engineering role on Johnson’s No. 48 team in 2006.
“Dale Jr. and I have a great relationship from being in the same shop at Hendrick Motorsports and my time at JRM,” Ives said. “We have a lot left to do this season 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.”
Daniel Hemric, Joshua Brimecombe, Tom Pistone, Carson Ferguson, Jensen Jorgensen and DJ Canipe won their respective divisions.
Hemrick won the Legend Car Pro division; Brimecombe the Legend Car Semi-Pro division; Pistone the Legend Car Masters division; Ferguson the Legend Car Young Lions division; Jorgensen the Bandolero Outlaws division; and Canipe the Bandolero Bandits division.
Ty Dillon won the $100,000 bonus last weekend at Indianapolis and is eligible again this weekend. Joining him are Trevor Bayne, Brian Scott and Smith. Whoever finishes the highest among the four will win the bonus.
This week, a fan will be paired with each driver, giving a fan the opportunity to win the bonus as well.
Blaney, who drives for Brad Keselowski Racing, leads Matt Crafton by four points heading into Saturday’s race at Pocono (Pa.), where he is the defending winner.