Greg Ives, who served as race engineer for Jimmie Johnson’s run of five consecutive Sprint Cup Series championships, 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 No. 5 Chevrolet. Smith won his first race with JR Motorsports last Saturday at Homestead, Fla.
“Regan’s win on Saturday and the announcement of Greg’s hiring are
huge momentum boosts for this company going into the off-season,” said team co-owner
Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Greg comes highly regarded. He has been a huge part of the
No. 48 team’s success, and this is a good opportunity for him to get his feet wet as
a crew chief."
Team manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said JRM will likely field just one fulltime Nationwide team in 2013 with Smith and a second part-time team featuring Earnhardt Jr. and other select drivers.
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 No. 48 team in 2006.
“Whether I realized it or not, each of my nine years at Hendrick
recognizing my goals early and giving me opportunities to ultimately reach them," Ives said.