Dale Earnhardt Jr. got a close look at the working relationship between Chase Elliott and Greg Ives.
Crew chief Greg Ives, who led Chase Elliott’s NASCAR Nationwide Series team this season, was on a career track that would have kept him with Elliott long-term.
Steve Letarte’s decision to leave Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s pit box for the NBC Sports TV booth, however, caused Ives’ career to go off-script.
I’m pretty excited, because I know how talented Greg is
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
As Elliott’s car owner at JR Motorsports, Earnhardt got a close look at the working relationship between Elliott and Ives. But Earnhardt said that had less to do with the choice of Ives as his crew chief than the vacancy created by Letarte’s impending departure.
“I think that (Ives) was sort of tabbed as a crew chief at HMS (Hendrick Motorsports) prior to working with Chase,” Earnhardt said. “He just moved to JRM to get his bearings and get some experience. The plan was sort of for him and Chase to stay together for the future and for them to work together long into the future, as Chase moved up.
“But other opportunities came about for myself and for Chase, and so this is kind of what’s going to work out for everybody in the best interests of all the teams combined. I’m pretty excited, because I know how talented Greg is, and at the same time, I feel like that, in a way, Chase is in a better position, too. He’s going to be working with a great guy next year in Ernie (Cope), and his future is solidified in the mind of (owner) Rick Hendrick as to what’s going to happen after that.”
Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service