Ford Removed as Hamlin's Crew Chief

Mike Ford Denny Hamlin

Ford (left) has been let go as crew chief of Denny Hamlin's No. 11 Toyota at Joe Gibbs Racing. (Photo: Getty Images)


Updated at 10:10 p.m. (ET)

Joe Gibbs Racing has removed Mike Ford as Sprint Cup Series crew chief on Denny Hamlin's FedEx Toyota.

"We appreciate what Mike has done for our organization over the past six seasons," said team owner Joe Gibbs.  "We've decided it was best to make a change now to allow Mike the (chance) to pursue other opportunities."

The Associated Press reports that Darian Grubb has been offered the position.  He will not return to Stewart-Haas Racing after helping guide Tony Stewart to the 2011 championship.  Grubb has already been offered a position with Hendrick Motorsports in an engineering capacity.

Hamlin and Ford teamed to win eight Sprint Cup Series races in 2010 and barely missed taking the championship.  The team struggled this year and despite making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as a wild card and winning one race, it never was a factor in the title picture.

JGR did not make any announcement as to when the vacant position as Hamin's crew chief would be filled.

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