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CONCORD, N.C. – With more than 600 team members in the organization, there are stories all across the Hendrick Motorsports campus.

With that in mind, we’re taking the chance to give fans a glimpse at all of the many sides of Hendrick Motorsports.

Below, you’ll hear from Greg Ives, No. 88 team crew chief.

Ives began his career with Hendrick Motorsports as a mechanic in 2004 and eventually served as a race engineer for the No. 48 team from 2006-2012, playing a role in the group’s five consecutive championships between 2006 and 2010.

Ives just completed his fourth season atop the pit box for the No. 88 team, working alongside Alex Bowman in his first full season driving for Hendrick Motorsports.

From highlights of the 2018 Cup Series season to learning more about pets inside the Ives’ household, hear more from the veteran crew chief below.

What were your thoughts on the 2018 season?

“We improved throughout the year. In every race, we would be better by the end of the race. I felt like that was our strong suit of adapting and adjusting to not only what the car was giving us but where we have to race our competition and even our teammates. I felt like we took advantage.”

What were some of the most memorable moments?

I think the highlights were qualifying better than we have in the past, trying to get the team to jell and trying to get us in a situation where we all were familiar and understanding of each other and making the playoffs and advancing to the next round. That was a goal of ours. Little disappointed we didn’t win a race, but part of that comes from being competitive and doing everything right. I think we still have areas that we need to improve on and gain from.”

Was it helpful to have the experience of a handful of races with Bowman in 2016 coming into this year?

“We knew the talent he had, but the season is long and the grind is so big that it exposes some deficiencies in areas that you need to continue to work on. That’s just part of racing. What I mean by deficiencies is you’re able to get a trend of green-flag stops, getting on and off pit road , those type of things that probably weren’t looked at so closely back when he only ran those handful of races. We didn’t try to improve that as much then as we are now, so those details are definitely things that we are looking at. There’s more of a trend and definitely things that we can work on.”

Do you have any big offseason plans?

“No real big offseason plans. For Thanksgiving, I went back to the U.P. (Upper Peninsula in Michigan) and spent some time with family up there and did some tasks around my wife’s parents’ farm. That was fun to do, but as far as Christmas, just going to hang out here in the Concord/Charlotte area. Maybe make a trip to the mountains but nothing out of the ordinary. I’m a homebody. I like being at home, cutting the grass, cutting trees, having bonfires and getting the honey-do list done. That’s my enjoyment. I don’t need to go to a beach or some extravagant place to enjoy my life.”

Tell us about the pets around the Ives’ household.

“We have five pets at home, two guinea pigs which are my daughter Payton’s. It’s something to help her understand there’s more to life than just herself. As a soon-to-be teenager, that’s a good, important lesson for her to have. We have two fish we won at the fair probably three years ago. It’s amazing they have lived this long. We’re pretty surprised.

“We just recently added a tabby cat to our household pets. Her name is Piccadilly. She’s very fun, playful and definitely helps lighten the mood around the house. She gets a lot of attention from the three kids. They learn discipline, too, of how to treat and how to not treat animals. Being young kids, they can tend to play with them like dolls, and a cat can definitely put you straight if you start mistreating them. She does a great job of balancing attention. She’s been a great addition."

What’s the story behind getting the guinea pigs?

“Three years ago, my daughter came to me and wanted to have a pet. One of her friends had guinea pigs and she felt like it was something she could take care of. We went to the pet store and the sales lady talked us into getting two because they tend to get lonely. So, we ended up getting two. Like I said, it provides them responsibility and to also understand that they’re not the only ones that have importance in this world and that allows them to understand life a little bit better.”

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