Darian Grubb will take over crew chief duties for the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team and Kasey Kahne effective immediately.
Grubb, who led Tony Stewart to the 2011 Monster Energy Cup Series title, has amassed 23 career victories as a crew chief in NASCAR’s top tour. Only Chad Knaus (81) and Todd Parrott (31) boast more wins.
The 41-year-old Floyd, Virginia native joined HMS as an engineer starting with the 2003 season. He worked alongside Knaus as the lead engineer until 2006. He was crew chief for Casey Mears before taking over the role as engineering manager for the Nos. 5 and 88 shops in 2008.
“Darian is an extremely talented and experienced crew chief,” said Hendrick Motorsports president Marshall Carlson. “Having been back with us for more than 20 months, he knows all of our people and processes. There’s no one more prepared to hit the ground running at this point in the year.”
Grubb has also collected 18 pole positions, 72 top-five finishes and 130 top-10s in his crew chief career. After three seasons with Stewart-Haas Racing which culminated with the 2011 Cup title, Grubb joined Joe Gibbs Racing as crew chief for Denny Hamlin in 2012.
He returned to Hendrick Motorsports last January to manage race car manufacturing as vehicle production director. This year he was promoted to director of competition systems.
“I’m looking forward to working with the team for the rest of the season,” Grubb said. “I enjoy competing in a playoffs environment, and we have tremendous resources at Hendrick Motorsports to pull from. I’m ready to get started this weekend.”
Grubb, who graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Tech, replaced Keith Rodden. Rodden rejoined HMS in 2015 to oversee Kahne’s program. In 99 starts, the pair won one race — this year’s Brickyard 400 — to advance to the playoffs. Kahne finished 21st on Sunday at Chicagoland and is currently 15th in the standings in his last season with the team. Rodden will remain with the organization through the end of the 2017 season. A crew chief has not been named for the No. 5 team for next year.