CONCORD, N.C. – Darian Grubb enters the 2019 season in a new role – technical director – and the former NASCAR Cup Series champion crew chief is embracing the opportunity.
Now in an executive leadership role supporting Hendrick Motorsports’ engineering and vehicle development resources, Grubb has been a key cog in the organization’s preparation for the upcoming campaign.
With his engineering and crew chief background, he has been able to bring unique insights into what will be needed to succeed utilizing this year’s new rules package in the Cup Series.
“With the whole package changing, and what we’re doing here with the four teams and how we operate as an engineering group and now having more visibility myself of all the groups encompassed together, I’m excited about going into this season and seeing the different options we have at the racetrack,” Grubb said.
Preparation for the 2019 Daytona 500 began as early as last October, and the key along the way, Grubb said, has been communication. That was even more important as the organization continued to adapt to a new setup in the race shops and readied to tackle the new rules package.
“We have a lot of technical meetings where we get together with all four crew chiefs, myself and the management here,” Grubb explained. “Everybody brings a unique experience of what they’ve learned in the past and how they can kind of apply that to what we’re doing at the racetrack. I like to be able to say everything we do on this entire complex has to do with what happens at the racetrack on race day, so, if you keep that in the back of your mind all the time, it changes the way your mindset is for how you make some decisions.”
Grubb noted that his background as a crew chief has “absolutely” been beneficial as he transitions to his new role, and last season’s reorganization of the race shops has paid dividends.
“It’s just kind of putting the entire complex all together so we all have the same mindset and we’re working toward the same goals,” he explained.
The organization’s collective drive and offseason effort was on display last Sunday with the first one-two-three-four Daytona 500 qualifying performance by a team in Cup Series history.
With that fast start, what is Grubb’s outlook entering the 2019 season?
“Very optimistic,” he said.