Joe Gibbs Racing announces new crew chiefs for Edwards, Hamlin in 2016
In 2016, Carl Edwards will work with crew chief Dave Rogers while Mike Wheeler will return to the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin.
Joe Gibbs Racing made the announcement Monday after reports of such changes emerged prior to the Sprint Cup Awards.
Rogers goes to the No. 19 after spending 2015 working with Hamlin and the five years before that with Kyle Busch. Wheeler, who was crew chief on JGR’s No. 2o in the Xfinity Series last season, spent the 10 years before that working with the No. 11 team.
Rogers has 15 Sprint Cup wins since his first full-time season as a crew chief in 2010. Wheeler led the No. 20 to four wins in the Xfinity Series.
Rogers replaces Darian Grubb as the crew chief on the No. 19. JGR said Grubb is “currently exploring several opportunities for the 2016 season.”
This is the third time in four years Grubb has been moved out of a crew chief role after a season (Tony Stewart, 2011; Hamlin, 2014; Edwards, 2015).
“2015 was probably the strongest season we have ever had at Joe Gibbs Racing,” team owner Joe Gibbs said in a press release. “I think every year you evaluate each of your teams however and sometimes during that process you find that a change might be in the best interest for all involved. Mike Wheeler is obviously someone that has a long history with Denny and that No. 11 team. After seeing what he accomplished as a crew chief in our Xfinity Series program last year we felt the timing was right to move him back into our Cup program. Dave Rogers has also been successful in every role he has had with us and we think he will work well with Carl (Edwards) going into 2016.”