As NASCAR Nationwide Series standout Chase Elliott and crew chief Greg Ives part ways after this season, JR Motorsports announced on Monday that veteran Ernie Cope will fill the role in 2015.
Cope, 45, is currently the crew chief of the No. 5 Chevrolet Camero in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports, and has worked with some of the sport’s top drivers over his 12 year career including Elliott Sadler, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, and even Chase’s father, Bill Elliott as the No. 9 team’s car chief back in 1999.
“It became clear rather quickly that the best option for Chase and the NAPA team next year is already in this building. Ernie builds fast cars, has a good rapport with Chase, and is familiar with the inner-workings of our company. Hopefully that will create a seamless transition at the end of the year, and the No. 9 team will continue its championship form right into 2015,” JR Motorsports General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said in a statement.
Elliott’s current crew chief Greg Ives will depart the team and head to Hendrick Motorsports in 2015, as he will take over the No. 88 car’s operations from Steve Letarte who is headed to the TV booth with NBC Sports.
Chase Elliott and the No. 9 NAPA Chevy Camero are currently first in the Nationwide Series points standings, and have three wins thus far in the 2014 season.