Rudy Fugle named Byron's 2021 NASCAR Cup Series crew chief

Nick DeGroot
·2-min read

Knaus, who was recently promoted to vice president of competition at HMS, will step off the pit box after a wildly successful career that includes seven championships and over 80 race wins.

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His replacement will be 36-year-old Rudy Fugle, who's resume is an impressive one as well. He has led Kyle Busch Motorsports to two driver and five owner titles, winning 28 races for the second-most all-time.

Fugle has worked with Byron previously in 2016, leading him to seven Truck wins at KBM. Kyle Busch, Greg Biffle, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones and Noah Gragson have all won with Fugle calling the shots.

“We’re pleased to welcome Rudy,” said Jeff Andrews, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “His teams have consistently performed at a championship level for many years. We believe he’s an excellent fit for our culture and will mesh extremely well with our other crew chiefs and competition personnel. In addition, Rudy and William have proven to be a successful combination with a high level of communication and trust in one another.”

The Livonia, New York native achieved a mechanical engineering degree from the University of North Carolina. Before KBM, he worked with Germain Racing and Robert Yates Racing.

With KBM, he has won truck races with six different drivers: Byron, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, Erik Jones, Greg Biffle, and Noah Gragson.

“The opportunity to join Hendrick Motorsports is incredible for me and my family,” Fugle said. “The No. 24 has always been one of the premier teams in racing. We have the owner, the driver, the people and the resources to continue that tradition. William is a great talent, and we have a very strong working relationship. I’m confident in what this team can accomplish and look forward to the challenge of competing at the Cup level."

Byron is excited to reunite with his former crew chief, saying in a statement released Monday: “I’m excited to work with Rudy again,” Byron said. “We have a great team in place, and I know he will be the right leader to keep moving us forward. I’ve seen first-hand what he’s capable of, his competitive nature and the high standards he has. With Rudy, I believe we’ll have a chance to win every single time we go to the racetrack, which is what both of us expect.”