Blake Harris, currently in his first season as a crew chief in the NASCAR Cup Series, has been tapped by Hendrick Motorsports to move to the championship-winning organization in 2023, as crew chief of Alex Bowman’s No. 48.
Harris, who has brought Michael McDowell and Front Row Motorsports to a record-smashing 12 top-10 finishes over the course of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, replaces Greg Ives, who announced that he would be retiring from the pit box at season’s end.
“Blake brings a tremendous amount of talent to our organization,” said Jeff Andrews, president, and general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “In our conversations, it quickly became clear that he’s an excellent culture fit and believes in the way we approach competing and winning. He and Alex have already developed a relationship, so we’re excited to see how they grow together. Greg has assembled a winning team, and we believe Blake is the perfect person to continue that work.”
The Maypearl, Texas-native began his career at NASCAR’s top-level in 2006, joining Evernham Motorsports’ engine and chassis departments. In 2010, the 35-year-old would transition to Furniture Row Racing, where he served as car chief on the No. 78 with Kurt Busch, and later, Martin Truex Jr
After the organization shuttered after the 2018 season, Harris followed Truex to Joe Gibbs Racing, where he served as car chief of the No. 19 until this season, where he accepted his first job as crew chief with Front Row Motorsports.
A native of Maypearl, Texas, Harris began driving race cars at age 11 and moved to North Carolina immediately after high school to pursue a career in NASCAR. At just 18 years old, he joined Evernham Motorsports (later Richard Petty Motorsports) in 2006, working in both the engine and chassis departments.
“The opportunity to work with a winning driver like Alex, an engaged sponsor like Ally and a championship team like Hendrick Motorsports is huge,” said Harris, who as a car chief won 29 races and made five Championship 4 playoff appearances. “When I moved to North Carolina in 2005, my goal was to become a crew chief for a top-caliber organization that could win races and compete for titles. I’m grateful for the chance to fulfill that dream and look forward to building something special with the No. 48 team.”
Harris will be paired with Alex Bowman, who has earned a berth in the NASCAR Cup Series in each of his five full-time seasons with Hendrick Motorsports, including this year, where he was eliminated in the ‘Round of 12’, after sitting out due to a concussion.
“I’m pumped about the chance to work with Blake,” Bowman said. “He’s a great fit for me, for our No. 48 group and for the way Hendrick Motorsports operates week in and week out. With Blake and everyone who supports this Ally Racing team, I know we can build on what Greg started and take this to the next level.”
The brand-new driver crew chief combination of Bowman and Harris will debut in the Busch Light Clash on February 5, 2023 at LA Memorial Coliseum.
Statement from Front Row Motorsports:
“We wish Blake nothing but the best in the future. He helped our organization become better and we are committed to ensuring that all our teams continue to improve. We have made considerable strides forward on and off the track in recent years and our goal is to continue to increase our performance. We have already begun the process of building for next season in a lot of different areas. This includes finding our next leader of the No. 34 Ford team.”