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.”
Already this season at JR Motorsports, Ives and Elliott, the 18-year-old son of NASCAR veteran Bill Elliott, have won three races and lead the series points standings. Ives served as crew chief last season for Regan Smith, who won one race and finished second in the standings.
A native of Bark River, Mich., and graduate of Michigan Technological University, 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.”