(WOMR file photo)
Greg Ives, the race engineer for Jimmie Johnson’s historic run of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships from 2006-10, has been named crew chief for JR Motorsports and driver Regan Smith for the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season.
Ives, 33, and Smith, 29, will spearhead JRM’s bid for a 2013 championship in the #5 Chevy. The addition of Ives cements a key piece of the puzzle for 2013 as JR Motorsports continues to streamline its race program.
Following a rigorous push to fund two full-time teams, Kelley Earnhardt-Miller said the company now is preparing for the likelihood of one full-time team in 2013 with Smith and Ives, and one part-time team with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and select drivers. Smith’s #5 Chevy will carry TaxSlayer.com as its primary sponsor for a majority of the events.
“With the final race of the season now in the books, the 2013 season has begun,” Earnhardt-Miller said. “Our goal is always to field two full-time teams and that could still happen next year with other potential opportunities but what we have right now is a strong team with Regan and Greg that will compete for a championship, and a part-time team with Dale Jr. that will compete for wins. Our focus is to streamline our company and equip those teams with everything they need to compete at a high level.”
Until now, Ives has spent all nine years of his NASCAR career at Hendrick Motorsports. A native of Bark River, Mich., and a graduate of Michigan Technological University, Ives began as a mechanic in the then 24/48 (now 48/88) shop in 2004 before moving into an engineering role on the #48 team in 2006. That was the same year Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus won their first of five consecutive Sprint Cup championships.(JR Motorsports)
From the tone of this press release, it sounds as if Cole Whitt may be without a ride at JRM for 2013, and that the only sure thing is the sponsorship of Taxslayer.com for Regan Smith! Maybe Earnhardt-Miller will be able to gather up a group of sponsors that will allow JRM to field a car in 2013 for Cole Whitt as well!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!