Fugle to serve as crew chief for Byron in 2021

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Fugle to serve as crew chief for Byron in 2021

NASCAR

Fugle to serve as crew chief for Byron in 2021

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Hendrick Motorsports has snagged another championship-winning crew chief in Rudy Fugle to work with William Byron next season.

Hendrick officials announced Monday that Fugle will join the organization in mid-November and be the crew chief of Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021. Fugle replaces seven-time champion crew chief Chad Knaus, who moves into a managerial role with Hendrick at the end of the season.

Fugle is one of the most successful crew chiefs in the Truck Series, where he currently works with Christian Eckes at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Since 2013, Fugle has won 28 races in the Truck Series and has two driver championships on his resume and five owner titles.

“We’re pleased to welcome Rudy,” said Jeff Andrews, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “His teams have consistently performed at a championship level for many years. We believe he’s an excellent fit for our culture and will mesh extremely well with our other crew chiefs and competition personnel. In addition, Rudy and William have proven to be a successful combination with a high level of communication and trust in one another.”

The move reunites Fugle and Byron. The duo worked together at KBM in 2016, the only full season Byron ran in the Truck Series. That season, they led the series with seven wins but failed to advance to the championship race due to a blown engine the week prior at Phoenix. The failure occurred as Byron was dominating the race and less than 20 laps from the finish. A week later, Byron and Fugle closed the season by winning the season finale.

“I’m excited to work with Rudy again,” said Byron. “We have a great team in place, and I know he will be the right leader to keep moving us forward. I’ve seen first-hand what he’s capable of, his competitive nature, and the high standards he has. With Rudy, I believe we’ll have a chance to win every single time we go to the racetrack, which is what both of us expect.”

Fugle also has 42 starts as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series, working with Michael Annett in 2009-10. Next season will be his first as a crew chief in the Cup Series.

“The opportunity to join Hendrick Motorsports is incredible for me and my family,” said Fugle. “The No. 24 has always been one of the premier teams in racing. We have the owner, the driver, the people, and the resources to continue that tradition.

“William is a great talent, and we have a very strong working relationship. I’m confident in what this team can accomplish and look forward to the challenge of competing at the Cup level.”

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