Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today Chris Gayle will assume the role of crew chief for the No. 20 Toyota Camry team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with driver Erik Jones starting with the 2018 season.
“I’m very excited to work with Erik again in 2018 and continue to build on our rookie season of 2017,” said Gayle. “I think the lessons we learned together this year will be invaluable to us next season. I’m also very excited to be coming back to JGR and work with all the great people and familiar faces in that organization.”
Chris Gayle returns to JGR following a one-year tenure at Furniture Row Racing where he led Jones in his Rookie Season campaign. Heading in to this weekend’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the pair have accumulated five top-five finishes, 14 top-10 finishes and earned one pole. The duos best run this season came at the August race at Bristol Motor Speedway where Jones won the pole and led 260 laps before finishing second behind Kyle Busch. With a strong run this season, Jones enters the weekend leading the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 14 points over Toyota teammate, Daniel Suarez.
“While we still have one more shot this weekend to close out the year with a win for Furniture Row Racing in the No. 77 Camry, I’m really excited about what’s to come next year moving back to JGR full time in the Cup Series and to have Chris Gayle with me as my crew chief,” said Jones. “Chris and I have come a long way in my rookie season and his rookie season as a crew chief in the Cup Series. We’ve learned a lot together and built a good relationship that I think will only continue to grow as we both move back to JGR and continue fighting for wins and championships.”
Prior to joining Furniture Row Racing for the 2017 season, Gayle served as a crew chief for JGR in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for four years working with Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Elliott Sadler, Jones and others following a successful career as a race engineer for JGR. During his four years as a crew chief in the NXS, Gayle earned 20 wins, including one with Jones at Chicagoland Speedway in 2015, 52 top-five finishes, 91 top-10 finishes and 17 pole starting positions.