Hendrick Motorsports made the move for the 2023 Cup Series. The team has appointed Blake Harris to be Alex Bowman’s crew chief and Team 48.
HMS announced the news on October 14 ahead of the trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The team confirmed that Harris will move from Front Row Motorsports and Team #34 to Box 48. He will replace Greg Ives, who announced in August that he was going off the road for a new role at Hendrick Motorsports.
The 2022 season, which marks the first time that Harris and Michael McDowell have worked together, did not include a trip to Victory Lane. However, Harris led the veteran driver to a career best season featuring 12 top-10 games and two top five.
“Blake brings a tremendous amount of talent to our organization,” said Jeff Andrews, president and general manager of Hendrik Motorsports. “In our conversations, it quickly became clear that he has an excellent culture and believes in the way we approach competition and winning.
“He and Alex have already developed a relationship, so we’re excited to see how they grow together. Greg has put together a winning team, and we think Blake is the perfect person to continue this work.”
Harris has worked with a variety of NASCAR teams
The 2022 season was Harris’ first as a full-time crew chief, but he has an extensive history in NASCAR. That includes an early start when he joined Evernham Motorsports in 2006 at the age of 18.
Harris first worked in the engine and chassis division, but he made a big change in 2010 when he joined Furniture Row Racing. He served as Head of Automotive for both Kurt Busch in 2013 and Martin Truex Jr. From 2014 to 2018. Harris also celebrated his Cup Series championship in 2017 after Truex won eight races.
Harris moved to Joe Gibbs Racing with Truex for the 2019 season, and has continued to serve as the veteran driver’s car head. He remained in this position until joining Front Row Motorsports as Chief of Staff in 2022. Now he will face another challenge.
Bowman made numerous trips to Victory Lane
With Harris moving to Hendrick Motorsports, he will now join an organization that has been compared to the New York Yankees of MLB. He will also work with a driver who has several trips to Victory Lane.
Bowman began his tenure at Hendrick Motorsports as a reserve driver in 2016 when he replaced Dale Earnhardt Jr. In 10 races. He moved to a full-time position in 2018 when Earnhardt retired, and has remained a key member of the team ever since while working only with Ives.
Bowman competed every year as a full-time driver at HMS, and won seven Cup Series races. This includes the final race at Chicagoland Speedway in 2019 and the dominant performance at Auto Club Speedway in 2020.
“The opportunity to work with a winning driver like Alex, a committed sponsor like Ally and a championship team like Hendrick Motorsports, is tremendous,” Harris said in a press release. “When I moved to North Carolina in 2005, my goal was to become a crew captain for a top-class organization that could win races and compete for titles. I am grateful for the opportunity to fulfill this dream and look forward to building something special with the 48th team.”
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