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NASCAR Cup: Chris Gayle returns to Joe Gibbs Racing with Erik Jones

Chris Gayle (right) with driver Denny Hamlin (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Chris Gayle (right) with driver Denny Hamlin (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Chris Gayle will be crew chief for Erik Jones on the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018, according to an announcement from the race team Wednesday.

“I’m very excited to work with Erik again in 2018 and continue to build on our rookie season of 2017,” Gayle said. “I think the lessons we learned together this year will be invaluable to us next season. I’m also very excited to be coming back to JGR and work with all the great people and familiar faces in that organization.”

Gayle will be returning to JGR with Jones, as both spent the 2017 season on the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota team while under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing are closely aligned. Jones and Gayle will replace driver Matt Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff. Kenseth will step away from the sport in 2018, while Ratcliff will move to the NASCAR Xfinity Series to be crew chief for Christopher Bell on the No. 20 JGR team in that series.

“While we still have one more shot this weekend to close out the year with a win for Furniture Row Racing in the No. 77 Camry, I’m really excited about what’s to come next year moving back to JGR full time in the Cup Series and to have Chris Gayle with me as my crew chief,” Jones said. “Chris and I have come a long way in my rookie season and his rookie season as a crew chief in the Cup Series. We’ve learned a lot together and built a good relationship that I think will only continue to grow as we both move back to JGR and continue fighting for wins and championships.”

Gayle, previously, was an Xfinity Series crew chief with JGR and was a race engineer with the organization before that. In his four years as a crew chief in the XFinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, Gayle won 20 races, working with drivers including Jones, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Elliott Sadler, among others. One of those wins came with Jones as drivers in 2015 at Chicagoland Speedway.

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Posted by on November 16, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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