On Tuesday Greg Ives was named the crew chief for JR Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet for the 2013 season in the Nationwide Series. Regan Smith, who won the 2012 season finale on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the No. 5 car will be the full-time driver in 2013 with Ives calling the shots from the top of the pit box.
“Regan’s win on Saturday and the announcement of Greg’s hiring today are huge momentum boosts for this company going into the off-season,” said owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Greg comes highly regarded. He has been a huge part of the 48 team’s success, and this is a good opportunity for him to get his feet wet as a crew chief. The partnership between JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports gives us the opportunity to help employees advance their careers while still keeping them in the family, so to speak.”
In Ives' seven seasons as an engineer on the No. 48 team he won five championships and had 42 wins, 115 top 5's and 21 poles.
TaxSlayer.com will be the primary sponsor for the majority of the 2013 season on the No. 5 car. General Manager of JR Motorsports Kelley Earnhardt Miller also said that right now the No. 5 team will be the only full-time effort in the Nationwide Series. It was expected that Cole Whitt would also have a full-time ride but as of right now it looks as if sponsorship has not materialized for that to happen. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and maybe some other younger drivers will race in a part-time effort car for the team.
Meanwhile, Greg Erwin was named crew chief for Sam Hornish Jr.'s Penske Racing team on Tuesday. He will take control of the No. 12 teams pit box in the teams first season with Ford.
“We are excited about having Greg as he brings a great deal of knowledge and experience to Penske Racing,” said Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing. “We are confident that he will be able to take the No. 12 Nationwide Series program to another level.”
Erwin most recently served as crew chief for Aric Almirola at Richard Petty Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series. He also was the crew chief for Greg Biffle and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup in three consecutive seasons with the No. 16 team.
Hornish finished fourth in the point standings in 2012 with 10 top 5's and 22 top 10's in the 33 races.
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