What's Next for Grubb?

Darian Grubb

“I’ve talked to pretty much everybody in the garage area at some point." Grubb says. (Photo: Getty Images)


Today’s official announcement from Stewart-Haas Racing naming veteran Steve Addington as Tony Stewart’s new crew chief is the latest pit box domino to fall just one week into the “off season”.

Darian Grubb will take his seat at the head table in Las Vegas this Friday night as 2011’s Sprint Cup Champion Crew Chief. His future after that, however, remains a question mark. Grubb provided few details in an interview for Wednesday night’s NASCAR Performance Live broadcast on MRN Radio.

“I’m definitely going around, talking to a lot of people and trying to decide what direction I want to go in,” Grubb said. “I’ve talked to pretty much everybody in the garage area at some point.

“I’ve got it narrowed down to a couple of choices now and I’m trying to make the best out of that situation and see what I want to do. I wish them the best there with everything they’re doing at Stewart-Haas Racing, but I’ll be moving on hopefully to greener pastures somewhere else.”

The garage rumor mill has centered over Grubb possibly rejoining his former co-workers at Hendrick Motorsports, possibly as a crew chief for one of the team’s four cars. Team owner Rick Hendrick told reporters on a Monday morning teleconference that his crew chief lineup is set for 2012 with the addition of Kenny Francis to the roster to continue calling the shots for Kasey Kahne. At the same time, Hendrick admitted making Grubb another offer.

“I have had discussions with Darian,” Hendrick said. “When he left (to join SHR) we told him we would always have a place for him if he wanted to come back.

“Darian’s a smart guy and I know he’s been entertaining a lot of offers out there. We don’t have a crew chief role (for him to fill). We have an engineering role that we think Darian would be good in. But at the end of the day it’s got to be what Darian wants to do. I know that he is close to all of our people and our guys are close to him. We’d love to have him back in the organization but I quite honestly don’t know where he’s going to end up. We would like to have him. Whether or not he decides he wants to be in the role that we’ve offered him, or he wants to do something else, I’m just not sure.”

With a newly-minted Sprint Cup Championship on his resume, Hendrick’s high regard for Grubb is probably shared in the ranks of other team owners. In the teleconference, Hendrick appeared to wave off any owner that might be looking to hire Grubb as a quick fix to their performance issues.

“You can’t just get a guy out of one organization, stick him in another organization and he’s going to be the fix-all,” Hendrick said. “I don’t think it happens that way. It takes a combination of a lot of things. The cars are so close anyway. The area for us to work in is so small with the new car the way NASCAR’s rules are written. It comes down to mainly the personality and the communications among the engineers, the crew chiefs, the drivers and the team.”

At the end of the day, the doors remain open at the complex on Papa Joe Hendrick Boulevard.

“I hope Darian ends up back with us,” Hendrick says. “I think he would help our organization a lot. If he wants to be a crew chief, we don’t have that spot. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

You can hear Grubb’s full conversation with Steve Post and Larry McReynolds on the Championship Edition of NASCAR Performance Live Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on your local MRN station.

MRN Producer Rich Culbreth contributed to this report.

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