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It’s Official: Grubb Joins JGR, Hamlin

[1]It’s official, Joe Gibbs Racing has announced that Sprint Cup champion crew chief Darian Grubb will serve as crew chief for Denny Hamlin and the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry in 2012.

Team owner Joe Gibbs said:

Darian is a great addition to our organization and person to lead our No. 11 FedEx team. Obviously he has proven the ability to guide a team to a championship and we are excited to have him working with Denny toward achieving that goal here at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Grubb said:

I’m thrilled to join Joe Gibbs Racing. The chance to work with Denny is something I’m excited about. When you sit down with Joe and [president] J.D. Gibbs, you can’t help but be excited about this opportunity and the team aspects of JGR. There is no question about the level of support you get here and I’m looking forward to working with everyone across the entire organization.

Grubb was told halfway through the Chase that he would be fired from Stewart Haas Racing at season’s end. Following that discussion, Stewart went on a tear, winning the championship as the result of a tie-breaker with Carl Edwards. SHR released Grubb [2], as they said they would. Steve Addington replaced Grubb at SHR as crew chief for Tony Stewart.

Following his release, the Associated Press [3] reported that Mike Ford had been let go as crew chief for Hamlin, citing Hamlin’s struggles this season, and the release of Grubb as factors.

After his release, Ford said:

I’m kind of relieved. It had been dragging on for so long, I’m actually relieved there’s finally a resolution.

Team owner Joe Gibbs issues a statement:

Everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing appreciates what Mike has done for our organization over the past six seasons as crew chief with our No. 11 team. We’ve decided it was best to make a change with the team now to allow Mike the opportunity to pursue other opportunities.