Thursday, September 08, 2016

Chris Gayle To Furniture Row Racing In 2017

Gayle (L) will guide Jones in 2017
Furniture Row Racing has hired Chris Gayle to serve as crew chief for the team’s new, second entry; the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota to be driven by Erik Jones.

Gayle, a 17-time winning crew chief in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, joins Furniture Row Racing after a 14-year career as an engineer and crew chief with Joe Gibbs Racing. He was promoted from engineer to crew chief by the company in 2013.

“We are thrilled to have Chris join our team and work with Erik (Jones) next season,” said Furniture Row Racing president Joe Garone. “His record in the XFINITY Series has been impressive, but more importantly, his record proves that he knows what it takes to win a race. It’s a great fit with Chris coming from Joe Gibbs Racing, with whom we have a technical alliance. This hire has all the makings of a seamless transition for Chris, since he has already worked with Erik and has a thorough understanding of the Toyota affiliation.”

Nine of Gayle’s 17 wins in the XFINITY Series have come this season; seven with Kyle Busch and one each with Denny Hamlin and Sam Hornish Jr. Gayle was also on the pit box when Jones won the 2015 XFINITY race at Chicagoland Speedway.

“I’ve watched Furniture Row Racing from afar and have been impressed with the success they have had with Martin Truex, Jr. in the No. 78 Toyota,” said Gayle. “This is a great opportunity to join a first-class team led by owner Barney Visser, who is deeply committed to provide the necessary resources to be successful in the Cup series. I also want to help Furniture Row Racing grow an already strong relationship with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing. I look forward to moving to Denver, it’s an awesome city. My wife Brandi says she is more about mountains than beaches.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Erik in the XFINITY Series and there is no doubt in my mind that he has an incredible future in the Cup Series. His talent and maturity are beyond his years and there’s not a better young driver to work with as I begin a new chapter in my career.”

Jones said he looks forward to working with Gayle during his 2017 rookie season.

“I am not only excited to have Chris as my crew chief, but also excited for Chris in a career move that he deserves,” said Jones. “I have worked with Chris and we have a mutual respect for each other. I feel we have an opportunity to have a good year together, and at the same time, build a team from the ground up. Chris has had tremendous success in the XFINITY Series and has shown time after time how to win races. We can’t wait to make our debut in Daytona with the No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota."

Gayle and his family – wife Brandi and 19-month-old daughter Cora -- will move to Denver, where he will begin working out of the Furniture Row Racing shop following the 2016 campaign.

A native of Little Rock, Ark., Gayle attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville for two years before transferring to the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where he graduated in 2002 with a mechanical engineering degree.

No comments:

Post a Comment