Darian Grubb’s Pursuit of a Second NASCAR Sprint Cup Title


May 9, 2014; Kansas City, KS, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (left) talks with crew chief Darian Grubb during practice for the 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

When Darian Grubb was attending Virginia Tech in the late 1990s, no one would have probably expected that Grubb would have one of the most successful careers in professional sports especially with the success of Virginia Tech football.

Now, Grubb is hoping to win his second Sprint Cup title.

Grubb grew up in Floyd County, Virginia, a county that is currently estimated as having a population of 15,390 people. Grubb grew up within an hour of Virginia Tech and went on to study in Blacksburg. Grubb received his degree from Virginia Tech’s renowned engineering department in mechanical engineering in 1998 and eventually ended up at Hendrick Motorsports in 2002.

Grubb worked his way up the ladder till he got the chance to make his debut as a crew chief in 2006 by replacing the suspended Chad Knaus on the pit box for Jimmie Johnson. Grubb’s first race came at NASCAR’s biggest race, the Daytona 500. Grubb’s debut ended perfectly with Johnson winning the Daytona 500.

Grubb took over as crew chief for Casey Mears in 2007 before taking an administrative role in 2008 and leaving for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009 to become Tony Stewart’s crew chief. Grubb had a solid first two seasons with Stewart but before the end of the 2011 season, Stewart informed him that he would not be retained with not too many races left in that season.

However, that didn’t stop Darian Grubb from doing the best possible job he could and the duo took of in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Stewart won five races in the 2011 Chase including the final race at Homstead to win the champinship on a tiebreaker over Carl Edwards who finished second in that race also.

Grubb joined Joe Gibbs Racing and Denny Hamlin’s team for the 2012 season and the duo had a couple up and down seasons with injuries having an effect. This year, Hamlin missed one race but that didn’t cause much of an impact with Grubb and Hamlin having a strong Chase to advance to the one race, final round.

Now, Grubb has his second Sprint Cup title in sight. All he needs to do is help Hamlin beat the other three left in the Chase and the best way to do that would be getting the win, just like he did with Tony Stewart back in 2011.

Darian Grubb has had a great career that all started by being a young man from Floyd County, Virginia that got his degree from Virginia Tech in mechanical engineering in 1998.