Greg Ives Named Junior's 2015 Crew Chief
Greg Ives has been named crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 team, and will replace current crew chief Steve Letarte after the completion of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Ives currently serves as crew chief for Nationwide Series driver Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports). Elliott, contending for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, has three victories and currently leads the series' points standings.
In a statement from the Hendrick organization, team owner Rick Hendrick said Ives was "our number-one choice."
"This is a talented guy who already has a terrific rapport with Dale Jr. and is a fit with the organization," Hendrick said. "He and Chad (Knaus) had a lot of success together, and all 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, a native of Bark Ricer, Michigan, worked alongside Knaus, Johnson's crew chief, as race engineer. Next season, he returns to work in the same shop as the No. 48 team.
"This is an incredible opportunity for me and my family," said Ives. "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 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. I couldn't ask for a better situation than working with one of the best drivers and best teams in racing."
Letarte, who will join NBC Sports for 2015 as the network begins coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, has served as crew chief of the No. 88 team since 2011, helping lead Earnhardt to three wins, including this year's Daytona 500.
He spent five-plus years with current points leader Jeff Gordon, winning 10 races together.
"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."