With the news of Chad Knaus receiving a promotion at Hendrick Motorsports coming in late September, NASCAR Cup Series driver William Byron was left without a crew chief for 2021.
The position has officially been filled and a reunion is on the horizon as Rudy Fugle and Byron will reunite starting in 2021.
“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.”
Thrilled to work with Rudy next year on the @Hendrick24Team. I'm confident we will pick up where we've left off this year @TeamHendrick, and I look forward to being back with him as we were in 2016. pic.twitter.com/VaMvdlzdZC
— William Byron (@WilliamByron) October 26, 2020
Fugle’s success has been well documented – with two driver championships, five owner titles at Kyle Busch Motorsports, and 28 NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series, he is among the most successful crew chiefs in the top three national series. The Livonia, New York native has won Truck races with six different drivers, including rookies like Byron himself, to Cup veterans like Kyle Busch.
“The opportunity to join Hendrick Motorsports is incredible for me and my family,” Fugle said. “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.”
Bryon and Fugle found plenty of success in the series in 2016 – with seven wins in 23 starts, and leading 21% of the season’s total laps possible in the series.
“I’m excited to work with Rudy again,” Byron said. “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.”
Knaus, arguably one of the greatest crew chiefs to ever sit atop the pit box for any driver in NASCAR history, will transition into a executive role at Hendrick Motorsports as Vice President of Competition starting in 2021.