Graves returning to Roush Fenway

Scott Graves, who earned his first win as a crew chief while working at Roush Fenway Racing in 2012, is returning to the organization following a three-year stint at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Graves will return to RFR in 2019 as crew chief of the No. 6 Ford in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series according to a release from the Concord, N.C.-based racing organization. The group has already announced that Ryan Newman will become the driver of the No. 6 beginning next year.

The 2012 victory, which came in an Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, was notable for a couple of reasons – in addition to being a milestone win for Graves, it was the last Xfinity Series win for former NASCAR racer Carl Edwards.

“Scott is an exceptional talent atop the pit box and he has done an outstanding job throughout his career – with multiple championship campaigns attesting to that,” Jack Roush, founder and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, said.

“He brings a strong engineering background to the table and we are excited about the opportunity to pair him with Ryan Newman going into the 2019 season.”

Graves most recently served as crew chief for Daniel Suarez and the No. 19 Toyota at JGR in the Cup Series. He left the position earlier this month.

He began his NASCAR career at RFR in 2006 as an engineer before transitioning into the role of crew chief.

He led driver Chris Buescher to the Xfinity Series championship in 2015 while at Roush, then guided Suarez to the title the following year at JGR.

JGR moved Suarez and Graves up to Cup in ’17, taking over that organization’s No. 19 entry following the sudden departure of Edwards.

In addition to being atop the pit box for Edwards’ final Xfinity win, Graves also was crew chief in ’14 when Buescher won at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio for his first career victory. Suarez’ first win in the series came with Graves at Michigan in 2016, and Kyle Busch picked up a win at Atlanta in ’17 with Graves calling the shots.

As a Cup crew chief, Graves has 100 starts between two drivers, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2012-13) and Suarez (2017-18), with five top-five and 21 top-10 finishes.

He has eight wins as an Xfinity Series crew chief, and drivers under Graves’ direction have scored 38 top-five and 65 top-10 finishes.

Graves got his start as crew chief at Roush Fenway with Trevor Bayne at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in 2012. Bayne won the pole and finished 16th.

The No. 6 entry at RFR has a long history – it was the first fielded by Roush when he became a NASCAR team owner in 1988 and was driven by Mark Martin.

In addition to the No. 6, which has featured Bayne and Matt Kenseth splitting driving chores with Matt Puccia serving as crew chief this season, RFR also fields the No. 17 Ford for Stenhouse Jr., in the Cup Series as well as the Nos. 16 and 60 in the Xfinity Series.

3 Replies to “Graves returning to Roush Fenway”

  1. As reported by various articles, Graves departure from Gibbs seemed to me as relatively abrupt. Was this a misconception on my part, or did Graves have some sort of problem at Gibbs, did Gibbs get rid of Graves once Gibbs learned Graves was switching teams and manufacturers, is this a normal way of non-drivers changing teams in Nascar, or is there something else going on?

  2. Based upon the articles at the time, Graves departure from Gibbs seemed, to me, relatively abrupt.
    Is this the normal way for non-drivers to change teams, did Gibbs get rid of Graves once Gibbs learned Graves was changing teams and manufacturers, did Graves have some sort of problem at Gibbs, or is there something else going on?
    I would not wonder except Roush seemed less than gracious when Kurt, Jamie, Kenseth, and Edwards left Roush, and I wonder if there is not some negative feelings towards Roush among non-Ford teams.

    1. It is expected, although not confirmed, that driver Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn will move to the No. 19 JGR car for 2019, replacing current driver Daniel Suarez and crew chief Scott Graves. Any time a driver or crew chief or other person who has intimate knowledge of the cars, setups, etc. is not returning the following season, they typically become “outsiders” when it comes to weekly technical briefings/meetings. It is often easier for a crew chief to move on sooner than a driver who could have contractual obligations with sponsors and the like.

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