Championship 4 crew chiefs in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series are in the spotlight as they head to Phoenix Raceway for the season finale.
On Friday, November 6th, four NASCAR Truck Series crew chiefs will lead their Championship 4 drivers in the Lucas Oil 150. Sheldon Creed, Grant Enfinger, Brett Moffitt, and Zane Smith will compete for the 2020 series title. Their crew chiefs, Jeff Stankiewicz, Jeff Hensley, Chad Norris, and Kevin Manion will lead their respective teams. The race begins at 8 pm ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Sheldon Creed (No. 2 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado)
Crew Chief Jeff Stankiewicz
Veteran crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz took the reins of the No. 2 GMS Racing team full-time in 2019 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with five races to go. Since then, Creed and the No. 2 team have won four times and put up 15 top-tens in 27 series starts. This season, they have qualified for not only the Playoffs but the Championship 4.
Stankiewicz began his Gander Trucks crew chief career in 2011 with Brad Keselowski Racing and driver Parker Kligerman; the duo finished the year 11th in points. Since then, Stankiewicz has worked with 17 different drivers in the Gander Trucks. He joined GMS Racing in 2014, leading driver Joey Coulter to a top-ten (seventh) finish in the championship standings that year.
The 2020 season marks the first time Stankiewicz has made the Playoffs and has advanced to the Championship 4. Stankiewicz has sat atop the pit box for seven series starts at Phoenix with seven different drivers. Of the seven, Spencer Gallagher in 2015 posted the best finish at Phoenix with a sixth. Last year, Stankiewicz also led Creed to his 12th-place finish in the Phoenix event.
Grant Enfinger (No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150)
Crew Chief Jeff Hensley
Veteran crew chief Jeff Hensley began his crew chief career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for his family-owned team Hensley Racing. From 1987 to 2001, Jeff Hensley worked as crew chief for the team. Then in 1990, Hensley led driver Chuck Bown to the series title.
In 2004, Hensley joined with Bill Davis Racing in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series back and driver Bill Lester. Since then and through the years, Hensley has worked with 17 different drivers in the series. He’s worked full time with Grant Enfinger since 2017.
Before working with Enfinger, Hensley’s best season was with Mike Skinner in 2007. The pair finished the season runner-up in the points to NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. Together they posted five wins and 17 top-fives.
This season, Hensley has an opportunity to become the third different crew chief to win an Xfinity and Gander Trucks titles. If he accomplishes the feat he’ll join Danny Stockman Jr. (Xfinity 2013, Truck 2011) and Randy Goss (Xfinity 2002, Truck 2000).
Brett Moffitt (No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado)
Crew Chief Chad Norris
Chad Norris began his crew chief career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Roush Fenway Racing. He worked with driver Matt Kenseth on a part-time schedule in 2005. From 2005 to 2012, Norris worked as crew chief on a part-time basis. In 2013 he was named crew chief for Travis Pastrana at RFR. Norris then worked with Trevor Bayne in 2014. Then, Ryan Reed, and Bubba Wallace in 2015.
Norris then made the move to Chip Ganassi Racing, working with driver Brennan Poole for 2016, 2017 seasons. Then last year, he went on to become the lone GMS Racing Xfinity entry with driver John Hunter Nemechek.
The 2020 season marks his first full season of competition in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Working with Moffitt this season the duo has produced one win, ten top-fives, and 15 top-tens.
Zane Smith (No. 21 GMS Racing Silverado)
Crew Chief Kevin Manion
Veteran crew chief Kevin Manion made his crew chief debut on a part-time basis in the NASCAR Cup Series. He’s worked with John Andretti and in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Manion’s biggest success came as a crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He led Martin Truex Jr. to back-to-back titles 2004 and 2005.
Manion then made the jump with Truex full-time to the NASCAR Cup Series. The pair worked together at Dale Earnhardt Inc. from 2006-2010. He then worked with Jamie McMurray at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing from 2010-2013. In 2016 he joined Kyle Busch Motorsports and started crew chief for multiple drivers.
Manion has begun to build a reputation for cultivating young talent. Last season, he led rookie Tyler Ankrum to his first win and a first playoff berth.
This season Manion has done the same with Zane Smith. Manion’s best finish in the final Truck Series championship standings is eighth, with Ankrum last season. Manion has worked with three different drivers at Phoenix in the Truck Series. He led Daniel Suarez to a victory at the track in 2016.