Joe Gibbs Racing officially announced its 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series crew chief and number lineup on Friday.
As Motorsport.com first reported, Scott Graves, who most recently guided Chris Buescher to the 2015 NXS championship, was recruited by JGR to oversee Daniel Suarez’s effort.
He replaces Eric Phillips who led Suarez to rookie-of-the-year honors on the Xfinity Series tour with three poles, eight top fives, 18 top 10s and a fifth-place finish in the standings. Suarez will now drive the No. 19 Arris Toyota — a shift from the No. 18 Camry.
After a successful run as Denny Hamlin’s team engineer, Chris Gabehart will direct Erik Jones rookie run in the Xfinity Series. Coming off of a tremendous season after winning the Camping World Truck Series title with three wins, five poles 11 top fives and 20 top-10 finishes in 23 starts, Jones, 19, also won two races running a part-time schedule in the NXS and made his Sprint Cup debut at Kansas Speedway.
Chris Gayle reprises his role as crew chief for the All-Star car which transfers from the No. 54 to the No. 18 Toyota Camry. Gayle will call the Xfinity races for current Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and drivers to be named at a later date. Gayle’s drivers earned seven wins, five poles, 17 top fives and 23 top-10 finishes in 2015.