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NASCAR Cup: Ron Malec no longer Jimmie Johnson’s car chief

Ron Malec with the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the garage at Phoenix International Raceway in 2012 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Ron Malec with the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the garage at Phoenix International Raceway in 2012 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Ron Malec won’t be the car chief on the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018, according to a report from Motorsport.com. Jesse Saunders is the new car chief on the No. 48 team.

Malec has opted to move away from a traveling NASCAR position after 16 years with the No. 48 team, Johnson’s entire career, to-date, as a cup driver. Malec arrived at Hendrick Motorsports with Johnson after also working with the driver in the American Speed Association (ASA).

“We both started out at the bottom of the food chain in both our professions,” Johnson said. “We shared our racing dreams together, and then were actually able to experience them from the lowest level to the highest level over the last 20 years. It was 1997 when we first got our apartment. So to experience all that together is pretty awesome.”

Malec will remain in NASCAR and with Hendrick Motorsports, though, as he transitions into the position of Vehicle Final Assembly Manager for HMS’ Cup Series program. In that position, he’ll oversee the assembly of the race cars for all four of Hendrick’s Cup Series teams — the No. 9 of Chase Elliott, William Byron’s No. 24, Johnson’s No. 48, and Alex Bowman’s No. 88 team.

“It’s been one hell of a ride for sure,” Malec said. “I wouldn’t change anything that we’ve done. I was so fortunate to meet Jimmie when we were younger, get hooked up with such a great person and be part of his career the way I have been. It’s been incredible. I hope that I can continue to help our organization at the shop in my new position and try to make all four teams successful for Hendrick Motorsports.”

All but three of Johnson’s 82-career Cup Series wins and all seven of his Cup Series championships have come since Malec was promoted to the position of car chief in 2003.

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Posted by on February 7, 2018. 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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