Veteran Darian Grubb named Kasey Kahne’s crew chief for rest of season

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CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Hendrick Motorsports has replaced driver Kasey Kahne’s crew chief for the rest of the season.

The team named Darian Grubb the crew chief for Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet for the remaining nine races of the NASCAR season.

Kahne finished 21st Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway and is ranked 15th among 16 playoff drivers with two races remaining in the opening round. Four drivers will be eliminated from the playoffs following the Oct. 1 race at Dover International Speedway.

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Grubb replaced Keith Rodden, who was the crew chief for 99 races. Rodden remains under contract to Hendrick Motorsports through the end of the 2017 season and will be assigned other responsibilities.

The team’s crew chief for the 2018 season has not been determined. Kahne won’t return to the team next season and has to land a new ride. Hendrick Motorsports promoted current Xfinity Series driver William Byron to its Cup team in 2018.

Grubb won the 2011 NASCAR Cup championship as the crew chief for Tony Stewart and was also a crew chief for Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Casey Mears during his nine years in the series.