In preparing for the start of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series campaign, Niece Motorsports has announced the crew chief lineup for its three full-time entries, which includes a pair of industry veterans and a brand-new face to the organization.
The team made its official announcement on Monday, by way of a social media post.
As previously announced, Phil Gould, a veteran crew chief in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will be shifting his focus from the championship-contending entries to work on the No. 45 Chevrolet in 2024.
The entry, which will have multiple drivers collectively chasing the Owner’s Championship, will start the season with Johnny Sauter behind the wheel in the season-opener at Daytona.
Kaden Honeycutt will serve as the entry’s anchor driver in 2024, contesting a 12-race schedule beginning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ross Chastain (five races) and Connor Mosack (three races) will also take turns behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Silverado.
Gould first joined forces with Niece Motorsports as crew chief of the No. 45 Chevrolet in 2019, which resulted in a second-place points finish with Ross Chastain, and victories at Kansas, Pocono, and Gateway.
The 46-year-old crew chief has also accumulated nearly 200 starts as a crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, working for top-tier organizations such as Richard Childress Racing and Roush Fenway Racing – scoring one victory in the process.
Working alongside Gould in the Niece Motorsports stable this season will be Mike Hillman, Jr., who returns to the organization for a second straight season, this time chasing a post-season berth with Bayley Currey.
Hillman is a 23-time race-winning crew chief in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, most recently visiting Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway in 2020 with Raphael Lessard and Kyle Busch Motorsports.
The long-time crew chief was also responsible for calling the shots from atop the pit box in 2006 and 2010, when Todd Bodine went on to capture two NASCAR Truck Series championships for Germain Racing.
Last season, Hillman was partnered with Currey for his 11-race stint in the No. 41 Chevrolet Silverado, which produced three top-five and four top-10 runs, including the entry’s best result of the season, a fourth at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Finally, Niece Motorsports has hired Jon Leonard to serve as the crew chief of the No. 42 Chevrolet Silverado in 2024, working hand-in-hand with Matt Mills to return to the entry to Victory Lane once again in 2024.
Leonard has been around the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for nearly a half-decade, serving as crew chief for organizations such as Front Row Motorsports, Halmar Friesen Racing, and most recently, Hattori Racing Enterprises — where he worked on the No. 61 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro in 2023.
In addition to his NASCAR Truck Series experience, Leonard also had a stint as crew chief in the NASCAR Cup Series, working with Regan Smith and Kasey Kahne at Leavine Family Racing for the final 21 events of the season in 2018, scoring a top-five and two top-10 finishes.
Together, Gould, Leonard, and Hillman combine for more than 30 victories in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and while looking to add to their tallies they will also look to be successful in adding wins to the tally for Niece Motorsports.