Hendrick Motorsports gives Jimmie Johnson new NASCAR Cup crew chief

Seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will get a new crew chief starting at this weekend's race at Watkins Glen

Hendrick Motorsports gives Jimmie Johnson new NASCAR Cup crew chief

After Johnson, who is without a win in 2019, finished 15th on Sunday's Pocono race his Hendrick Motorsports team decided to make a change, with Cliff Daniels becoming his crew chief.

Daniels was Johnson's race engineer during the 2016 Cup season, which Johnson won, after joining Hendrick in '14.

Last year, Daniels joined Hendrick's competition systems group following the 2018 season before rejoining Johnson as his race engineer at last month's Sonoma event.

"We have great confidence in Cliff's ability to win races with Jimmie and the team," said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick.

"He's a natural leader and tremendously talented from both a technical and communication standpoint.

"Cliff's familiarity with Jimmie and the #48 team culture will benefit us a tonne. He will bring the spark that's been our missing ingredient."

Daniels will replace Kevin Meendering - who only moved into his role as Johnson's crew chief after the 2018 season.

Meendering will remain with Hendrick in a senior competition role. In the 21 Cup races so far in 2019, Johnson has scored just one pole position and eight top-10 finishes.

"Cliff has really shined since he came back to the #48," Johnson said.

"When he returned, there was an immediate change in the team dynamic that all of us felt.

"We've worked together for a long time, have a tonne of mutual respect and a shared vision.

"I have no doubt the strong connection and working relationship is going to pay dividends right away.

"I'm so grateful to Kevin. He's a truly awesome person who I think very, very highly of.

"I'm looking forward to continuing to work with him in his new role. He's a brilliant guy and will make all of us better."

Daniels is a former stock car driver. After earning a mechanical engineering degree from the University of North Carolina, he was hired by RAB Racing in 2011.

He worked as a race engineer for driver Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing for two seasons (2013 and '14) before joining Hendrick.

"We have an opportunity to win an eighth championship and a lot more races with Jimmie," Daniels said.

"I'm proud to be in this position and have total faith in the team and our ability to perform at the level everyone expects.

"We have the best driver, the best organisation and the best leadership, so everything we need to be successful is in place.

"It's always been my goal to become a crew chief, and I'm thankful to Mr Hendrick for his confidence."

shares
comments
"We can win anywhere" after Pocono NASCAR Cup Series win - Hamlin

Previous article

"We can win anywhere" after Pocono NASCAR Cup Series win - Hamlin

Next article

NASCAR outlines details of first Cup double-header at Pocono

NASCAR outlines details of first Cup double-header at Pocono
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Teams Hendrick Motorsports
Author Tim Southers
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020