Darian Grubb will begin his first season as crew chief of the #11 FedEx Toyota in 2012 after spending the previous three seasons (2009-2011) as Tony Stewart’s crew chief at Stewart-Haas Racing. The duo most recently won the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, winning five of 10 races in the Chase playoff to edge the #99 Roush Fenway Racing entry for the title.
Grubb becomes only Hamlin’s second crew chief in his Cup Series career, replacing Mike Ford.
During his three-year tenure at Stewart-Haas Racing, Grubb and Stewart combined to win 11 races and record 59 top-10 finishes, as well as a victory in the 2009 Sprint All-Star Race. The #14 team made the Chase in each of its three seasons under Grubb’s leadership, finishing sixth in 2009 and seventh in 2010 before winning it all one year ago.
The 36-year-old Floyd, Va.-native guided Stewart to victories on a variety of tracks, 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.
Grubb came to Stewart-Haas Racing following a six-year stint at Hendrick Motorsports, where he rose from an engineer on the #48 team to the company’s engineering manager for the #5 and #88 Sprint Cup teams. Grubb also earned experience as a crew chief, serving in an interim role on the #48 team for the first four races of the 2006 season, where he led Jimmie Johnson to victory in the season-opening Daytona 500.
He spent the 2007 season as the crew chief for Casey Mears, leading the driver to his first Sprint Cup Series victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Grubb grew up in Floyd County, Va., and spent the majority of his time in high school working on Late Model stock cars that competed on tracks throughout Virginia and the Carolinas. A 1993 graduate of Floyd County High School, Grubb earned his degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) in 1998 via a co-op program with Volvo Trucks and General Motors.
Following college, he spent two years at Volvo Trucks as a design engineer, while staying active in the motorsports community. He worked as the crew chief for Jeff Agnew in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, helping guide the driver to the championship and “Rookie of the Year” honors in 1998.
Grubb got his first break into the Sprint Cup Series with Petty Enterprises in February 2000. He was part of the engineering team that helped develop the Dodge Intrepid in NASCAR, and served as the shock specialist on the famous #43 Petty car through 2002.
In 2003, Grubb joined Hendrick Motorsports as an engineer on the #48 team under the direction of crew chief Chad Knaus, before he was promoted to lead engineer for the #48 and #24 teams in 2005. He became Hendrick Motorsports’ lead race engineer while simultaneously serving as the lead race day engineer for the #48 team in 2006, where he helped the team to five victories and the first of five-straight Sprint Cup Series titles.
Grubb resides in Mooresville, N.C., with his wife, Yolanda, and their son, Gavin. In his spare time, Grubb enjoys spending time with his family, boating, following college football and working on cars and computers.