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Future Hall of Fame NASCAR Crew Chiefs

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Joshua Lipowski

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The driver may drive the car, but the crew chief is the one who sets it up. Oftentimes, a great crew chief/driver combination could be exactly what a driver needs to take it to that next level. Which crew chiefs in NASCAR today are bound to be Hall of Famers in the future?

Cliff Daniels

Cliff Daniels and Kyle Larson teamed up at the start of the 2021 season, and immediately Larson started winning. A whopping 10 wins and the NASCAR Cup Series Championship in 2021 was the ideal first season for the duo. In 2023, the two are once again Championship contenders.

With the success the two have had so far, they should be partnered together for a very long time. On top of that, Cliff Daniels is incredible at motivational speeches such as his speech from the 2022 Coca-Cola 600. Daniels has helped push Larson over the top, and it seems neither is showing any signs of slowing down.

Adam Stevens

Not only has Adam Stevens tamed Kyle Busch to winning two Cup Series Championships, but he also is the crew chief who led Christopher Bell to his first career win. That is an impressive resume for someone who has less than 10 years on the job. Stevens has had to deal with major adversity including Busch breaking his leg at Daytona in 2015.

He has become a stalwart at JGR, and he will continue to be one for the foreseeable future. Add to that 33 wins in 313 starts is nothing short of spectacular.

Alan Gustafson

He may not be the most popular crew chief after his fuel strategy mistake at Watkins Glen, but the success cannot be denied. What Gustafson has done is continue to win races with multiple different drivers. He has won races with current Hall of Famers Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin alongside future Hall of Famers Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott.

Gustafson also helped revitalize careers as he gave Gordon his first multi-win season in four years in 2011 and led 50-year-old Mark Martin to five wins in 2009. Gustafson may have only one Championship to his name, but the success he has had with multiple different drivers gives him a legitimate Hall of Fame case.

Paul Wolfe

Paul Wolfe is famous for trying alternate strategies whenever he has the opportunity to. It was that mentality that gave Wolfe his first career win as a crew chief with Brad Keselowski in 2011. Wolfe took Keselowski from a tough rookie season to beating arguably the greatest driver of all time, Jimmie Johnson for the 2012 Championship.

Wolfe went on to win another Championship in 2022 with Joey Logano, and Wolfe has never gone a season without winning a race. Wolfe has been a steady presence at Team Penske, and he will be looked back on fondly in that building when his crew chief career ends.

Rodney Childers

Like many drivers, Rodney Childers had to work his way up through the NASCAR Cup Series before he found his best success. He started as a crew chief for Scott Riggs in 2005, and Childers led Riggs to a career-best second-place finish at Michigan in August. Childers later moved on to Michael Waltrip Racing where he won races with David Reutimann and Brian Vickers.

In 2014, Childers moved to Stewart-Haas Racing to work with Kevin Harvick, and the two hit it off immediately. They won the series Championship in 2014, and the two have combined for 37 race wins in 334 races together. The success is undeniable, and Childers should have quite the Hall of Fame case when his career ends. The question is, how will he do with Josh Berry?

Are there other crew chiefs in the sport today that may be future Hall of Famers? We will have to see, and maybe one of those crew chiefs can begin to craft their case as the Playoffs draw to a close.

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