Darian Grubb: The Man behind Champions

Darian Grubb is a Happy Man
Photo – Tyler Barrick/Getty Images/NASCAR

When looking at the history behind Darian Grubb, currently crew chief for Denny Hamlin at Joe Gibbs Racing, it doesn’t take long to realize the success that follows along with this man’s career.  

Most recently, fans know Darian Grubb as the crew chief leading Tony Stewart’s historic championship charge with five wins in the 2011 Chase. Throughout, Grubb’s three-years at Stewart-Haas Racing, he and Stewart accumulated 11 race-wins, 59 top-ten finishes along with a victory in the 2009 Sprint Cup All-Star race. Also worthy of noting, Stewart was in the Chase all three-years of their partnership together, finishing sixth in 2009 and seventh in 2010 before winning the title in 2011. 

Darian Grubb’s breadth of success is seen within the wins he has accomplished with Stewart, including short tracks – Martinsville and New Hampshire in 2011, intermediate ovals – Atlanta and California in 2010, superspeedways – Daytona in 2009 and road courses – Watkins Glen in 2009, among others throughout their time together.

Success appears to follow Grubb throughout his NASCAR career. Take for example Casey Mears first win in 2007 at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway when it was Darian Grubb calling the shots on his pitbox that day.

And this point becomes even more poignant when realizing that Darian Grubb started his tenure at Hendrick Motorsports as an engineer with the #48 team in 2003 working with Chad Knaus, and quickly being promoted to lead engineer for both the #48 and #24 teams in 2005. 

In 2006, the first year Jimmie Johnson became a Sprint Cup champion, Darian Grubb was working double duty as Hendrick Motorsports’ lead race engineer while also taking the lead as race day engineer for the #48 team, where he would continue helping the team through 2007 on their way to five consecutive championship titles! It was 2007 when Grubb brought Casey Mears his first win, and 2008 he would return to Hendrick Motorsports in an administrative role overseeing the #5 and #88 team, before leaving for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009.

Darian Grubb with Tony Stewart as driver of the #14 car, ended Jimmie Johnsons’ historic five-time championship run last year, making history again with an unprecedented five wins in the ten-race Chase!  

In just the second race of the season with his new driver, Denny Hamlin and his new team of Joe Gibbs Racing, Darian Grubb’s success continues to follow, as Hamlins’ winless streak ended with a win at Phoenix International Speedway.  

With a resume that is the envy of every crew chief within NASCAR at this point, it seems Denny Hamlin has the right man behind him and on top of the pitbox for the 2012 season.  Anyone changing their predictions for the 2012 championship at this moment?