Sorry, Noah, but that’s not your crew chief

For a while, at least, Noah Gragson thought he might have the services of Kevin Meendering as his crew chief next year.

Gragson has signed with JR Motorsports, where he’ll replace NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contender Elliott Sadler, who is retiring from full-time racing at the end of the season. Meendering is Sadler’s crew chief.

But Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick had other plans for Meendering, who will replace Chad Knaus as crew chief for the No. 48 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team of seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson next year.

That leaves Gragson with a major unanswered question.

“I don’t know who my crew chief will be,” said Gragson, who is battling for the NASCAR Camping World Championship in the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota this season. “I was reading on Twitter yesterday, and I saw Meendering, who I think that is the crew chief for the No. 1 car (Sadler).

“I started to put things together, and I thought that was the guy who is supposed to be my crew chief. Why is he going to be the crew chief of Jimmie Johnson next year? I don’t know who it’s going to be. I’m really focused on competing this weekend and finishing this year out strong with my Kyle Busch team.”

Gragson faces a Truck Series elimination race in Saturday’s Fr8Auctions 250 at Talladega (1 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.