Original post 3-29-2017Joe Gibbs Racing announces that crew chief Dave Rogers will take personal leave for an indefinite period of time and Scott Graves will assume the role of crew chief for the #19 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team.
Graves has been serving as the crew chief for JGR's #18 NASCAR XFINITY Series team. His replacement will be named next week.
-- Joe Gibbs Racing --
UPDATE: #19-Daniel Suarez was asked about Rogers Friday at Martinsville Speedway:
Can you talk about difficulties in losing crew chief Dave Rogers this week and is it helpful that you and new crew chief Scott Graves have worked together already?
"Well it was a surprise for me as well. I respect a lot Dave's decision to do this and to try to take care of his personal stuff. You know, with a Cup schedule, as busy as it is, sometimes it's difficult to do both things at the same time. I have a lot of respect for Dave. He's a great guy, a great crew chief. I know how hard he wants to be at the racetrack. It's pretty much what he'd been working hard his entire life and the only thing I can do is wish him the best. I hope that he comes back soon."
Talk about how you well you and Dave Rogers worked together and do you know if he'll come back?
"The truth is that I don't really know. I wish I knew, but I don't really know myself. What I can tell you is that Dave is an amazing person. Outside of the race track he's an amazing person. Even before I started racing with him in Daytona I went to his house with the entire team and we had dinner. I mean he's a great great person and we've become friends. We've been together just five races and we are right now very tight friends. I really respect his decision. I can tell you that he wishes he was here. I wish him the best with whatever decision he is making. I just hope that he comes back soon to do whatever that he loves to do - that is being in the races and being at the race track every weekend just like myself."
Did you see Dave Rogers stepping away coming at all?
"Not at all. I pretty much got to know this almost at the same time as you guys. It was something that took me as a surprise and actually it took him as a surprise as well. It was a hard week for the whole organization, but luckily Joe Gibbs Racing is a family. Everyone supports each other very well. He's still part of the team even when he's not here with us right now. He's still in communication with all of us. Luckily we got Scott (Graves). With Scott, he's a great crew chief. We won a championship together. We've been working just one year and we know each other very well so luckily he was able to step in to the Cup deal."
-- Toyota Racing --