Ernie Cope to be Chase Elliott's crew chief in 2015
August 18, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
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Chase Elliott's crew chief vacancy for the 2015 Nationwide Series season was filled on Monday.
JR Motorsports announced that veteran crew chief Ernie Cope will serve as the crew chief for the No. 9 team next season. Elliott's current crew chief, Greg Ives, is making the move to the Sprint Cup Series to serve as Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief for the No. 88 team of Hendrick Motorsports next season as Steve Letarte heads to the broadcast booth with NBC.
"It became clear rather quickly that the best option for Chase and the NAPA team next year is already in this building," JRM general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said in a release. "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."
Cope has been the crew chief for JRM's third, part-time car this season, which has usually been the No. 5 car. He has three wins this season atop the pit box, two coming with Kevin Harvick and one with Kasey Kahne.
"Kevin and I have enjoyed a lot of success, and we're not done yet," Cope said in a release. "There is a lot of racing left this year, but in putting the pieces together for 2015, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to compete the full race schedule."
Cope later added: "Chase Elliott is an extremely talented race car driver."
Cope and Elliott were paired together at Road America when Ives had to miss the race due to the birth of his third child. Elliott finished fourth.
A crew chief for the No. 5 team in 2015 has not yet been determined, according to the release.
In his rookie season, Elliott has nabbed three wins and currently leads the Nationwide Series point standings.