Petty GMS Lands Championship-Contending Crew Chief

Noah Gragson

Getty The No. 9 team celebrates a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Petty GMS has made a major move for the 2023 Cup Series season. The team has announced that Luke Lambert will serve as Noah Gragson‘s crew chief, continuing a successful relationship that has featured eight Xfinity Series wins.

Petty GMS — which dropped the Motorsports from the name — announced the news on October 25. The team confirmed that Lambert will follow Gragson from JR Motorsports, and he will make his return to the Cup Series. Lambert will lead the No. 42 team and try to help Gragson reach Victory Lane.

“Hiring Luke was the right choice for us when it came to finding a crew chief for Noah,” said Joey Cohen, Petty GMS Director of Competition and Engineering. “The chemistry and success they have had this year in the Xfinity Series is one that can’t be replicated, and we know with the right resources and tools, that success can carry over to the Cup Series next year.

“Luke brings a great deal of knowledge from his previous years in the Cup Series and knowledge of Noah. With both Luke and Dave (Elenz) next year, Noah and Erik (Jones), and the relationships they’ve already built, I know we’re giving them the best chance for success next season and the ability to continue to elevate Petty GMS.”

Lambert Joined JR Motorsports Ahead of the 2022 Season

Noah Gragson

GettyNoah Gragson (left) and Luke Lambert (right) celebrate a win at Phoenix Raceway.

From 2019 until the end of 2021, Gragson worked with one crew chief — Dave Elenz. He had the veteran atop the No. 9 pit box for three full-time seasons, which resulted in five trips to Victory Lane and one appearance in the championship four.

The situation changed after the season finale at Phoenix Raceway. Elenz moved up to the Cup Series, and he took over the No. 43 team at Petty GMS. JR Motorsports responded by hiring Lambert, who moved to the Xfinity Series after nine full-time seasons in the Cup Series, as well as one part-time season.

Lambert only had one Xfinity Series season on his resume — 2012 when he worked with Elliott Sadler. Though this was a successful campaign considering that they celebrated four wins together and ended the year second in the championship standings.

The partnership with Gragson has paid immense dividends. The No. 9 team has been the most dominant in the Xfinity Series with eight wins and 16 stage wins, twice as many as any other driver. Now they are back in the championship four after a dominant win at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Lambert Has a Cup Series Championship 4 Appearance

Luke Lambert

GettyLuke Lambert (right) will make his return to the Cup Series.

Prior to this dominant season with Gragson, Lambert spent several years with both Richard Childress Racing and Roush Fenway Racing — now RFK Racing. He worked with a variety of drivers including Ryan Newman, Jeff Burton, Chris Buescher, and Daniel Hemric.

Lambert celebrated one win during his Cup Series tenure — a race at Phoenix in 2017. Though his drivers qualified for the playoffs three separate times. This includes the 2014 season when Newman finished second in the championship standings behind Kevin Harvick.

Lambert will now make his return to the Cup Series, and he will try to add to a stat line that also includes 86 top-10 finishes and 26 top-fives. He will just do so with a driver with whom he has celebrated numerous wins.

“I’m looking forward to continuing this journey with Noah,” Lambert said. “This year has been fun and rewarding, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. When I joined JRM, it was because I believed in the organization and knew I’d have the opportunity to compete for race wins and a chance at the championship, and that’s exactly where we are right now.

“I see the same opportunity with Petty GMS. They’ve shown great growth this season and were able to get the team’s first win. With Dave and Erik, along with what Noah and I bring to the table, I think we’ll continue to see that success and contend for race wins next season.”

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