Mears gets Daytona 500-winning crew chief

Mears gets Daytona 500-winning crew chief

Mears gets Daytona 500-winning crew chief

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Casey Mears got a new crew chief Monday, just four days before NASCAR begins preparations for the season-opening Daytona 500.

Fortunately for Mears, he's teaming with last year's race-winning crew chief.

Darian Grubb, who led Jimmie Johnson to the Daytona 500 victory, will now lead Mears' No. 25 team at Hendrick Motorsports. Grubb, an engineer on Johnson's crew, filled in for Chad Knaus during his four-race suspension last season.

Grubb led Johnson to a pair of wins during his stint.

"Darian is one of the most respected voices in our organization and has proven to be a terrific leader," team owner Rick Hendrick said. "He and Casey represent an exciting new combination for the No. 25 team, its sponsors and its fans."

Grubb takes over for Lance McGrew, who was crew chief for Brian Vickers when he drove the No. 25. McGrew will stay with Hendrick Motorsports in a leadership role

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Re: Mears gets Daytona 500-winning crew chief

Grubb's goals? Win races, get Mears into NASCAR's Chase
By JIM UTTER / The Charlotte Observer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Even though Darian Grubb was the crew chief for last year's Daytona 500 winner, Jimmie Johnson, he had not planned to be in the same role this time around.

But earlier this week, Hendrick Motorsports named Grubb crew chief for its No. 25 Chevrolets and driver Casey Mears, replacing Lance McGrew.

Grubb, the former car chief on Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet, served as acting crew chief last season for the first four races when regular crew chief Chad Knaus was suspended for rules violations.

"I got the opportunity to play crew chief for four races last year and I really enjoyed it. It was a great challenge for me," Grubb, 31, said.

"I'm just proud Hendrick Motorsports put their confidence in me to go ahead and try this. I would never ask for this opportunity but now that it's been laid in my lap, I'm really looking forward to it."

Grubb said the team's goals would be simple: "Try to win races, perform to the best of our ability and get the car in the Chase. With Casey coming in and his enthusiasm and basically starting over with this team, I don't think these are unrealistic goals."

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