In a surprising turn of events, Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Wednesday evening that veteran crew chief Dave Rogers would be taking a personal leave of absence for an indefinite period.
Rogers, who was currently serving as crew chief for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie and 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion Daniel Suarez came to JGR in 2005. He worked with Jason Leffler that season before moving to the XFINITY Series and crew chiefing for Denny Hamlin in 2006. He also spent time with Aric Almirola, Tony Stewart, and JJ Yeley while in the NXS.
Rogers’ big break came in 2009 when he was named the crew chief for Kyle Busch and the No. 18 MENCS team. During his tenure with Busch, they combined to win 13 races and finished fourth in the championship standings in 2013.
Last season, Rogers worked with Carl Edwards and the No. 19 team, winning three times and finishing fourth in points.
Suarez will have a familiar face on top of the pit box this weekend at Martinsville with Scott Graves taking over as crew chief of the No. 19 team.
Graves and Suarez combined to win three times during last season’s championship run. He also oversaw Chris Buescher‘s title in the NXS in 2015 while at Roush Fenway Racing. Graves was currently serving as crew chief for JGR’s No.18 entry in NASCAR’s second-tier series.
JGR has not provided any other details concerning Rogers’ leave and will name a replacement crew chief for their No.18 team in the NXS next week.
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