It was announced on Wednesday by Joe Gibbs Racing, that crew chief Dave Rogers would be stepping away from his duties as the crew chief for rookie Daniel Suarez. The team announced in the brief statement that Dave Roger’s absence will be effective immediately and for an “indefinite period of time.”
The young no.19 Toyota driver had taken over from Carl Edwards at the beginning of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, following Carl Edwards’ surprise announcement that he’d be “stepping away” from racing for the time being.
According to a statement issued by the team, Suarez will now have Scott Graves as his new crew chief. Graves was Suarez’s XFINITY Series crew chief and the pair went on to win the Championship at the Homestead Miami Speedway in 2016. It was also mentioned that we will find out who the replacement crew chief for the no.18 XFINITY team will be, next week.
Under the guidance of Rogers and despite having a rough start to the season, Suarez has run in 7th place for the last two races and is currently ranked 19th in this season’s standings. Rogers was in his 10th season as crew chief, and has been with Joe Gibbs Racing since he assumed the role of Kyle Busch’s crew chief back in 2009. Other drivers he’s worked with include Denny Hamlin in 2015 and Carl Edwards in 2016.
Additional stats under Rogers’ belt for the Cup Series include: 271 race starts with Joe Gibbs Racing, 20 pole positions, 85 top 5 finishes, 134 top ten finishes and 18 wins with Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards (nearly winning him the Championship in 2016) and Denny Hamlin combined. In addition, his XFINITY career was also a success as he won 20 races with five separate drivers.
Meanwhile, it’ll certainly be interesting to see if Suarez and Graves will continue to have the great chemistry they’ve shown in the XFINITY Series, and be able to apply it to the Cup Series as well.