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Alba Colon joins Hendrick Motorsports to oversee team’s competition systems group

RELATED: Colon blazes new trail | Colon honored with STEM Award

Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday morning that veteran racing program manager Alba Colon has been named director of the organization’s competition systems.

Hendrick Motorsports indicated that Colon will start her role later in the month. She replaces Darian Grubb, who was tapped last November as crew chief for the HMS No. 24 Chevrolet for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series rookie William Byron in 2018.

Colon, born in Spain and raised in Puerto Rico, has long had ties to General Motors and its racing program. She initially was hired in 1994 as a data acquisition engineer in charge of NASCAR and ASA competition, later branching out into NHRA drag racing.

Colon was promoted in 2001 to program manager for Team Chevy’s efforts in NASCAR’s premier series. During her tenure, Chevrolet added 14 manufacturer championships in NASCAR’s top division.

“Alba Colon was a key contributor to Chevrolet’s racing success for over two decades, including 14 NASCAR Cup Manufacturers’ Championships as our program manager in the series,” a Chevrolet spokesperson said in a statement. “We thank Alba for all of her contributions to Chevrolet Motorsports.”

Colon has long been regarded as a trail blazer and an influential figure in the NASCAR garage. In 2017, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation recognized Colon with the STEM Award for her contributions in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The move is the latest change for a new-look Hendrick Motorsports in 2018. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott return to the operation’s driver roster, but Byron and Alex Bowman will shift into their first full-time seasons under the HMS banner.