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2017-11-15 / Blogs

NASCAR Xfinity: Jason Ratcliff expected to be Christopher Bell’s crew chief in 2018

By Amanda Vincent
Jason Ratcliff (right) with Matt Kenseth (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)Jason Ratcliff (right) with Matt Kenseth (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)2017-11-14

Crew chief Jason Ratcliff recently confirmed that he has a job for 2018 but would provide specifics. Motorsport.com, though,  has reported that sources have Ratcliff remaining with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 but moving to the NASCAR Xfinity Series to be crew chief for Christopher Bell, who’ll be a rookie in the series next season.

Ratcliff will finish the 2017 season as Matt Kenseth’s crew chief on the No. 20 JGR Toyota team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Kenseth’s release from JGR will become effective after the 2017 season-finale FordEcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19 to make room for Erik Jones.

The duo of Ratcliff and Kenseth claimed, perhaps, their last win together Sunday in the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Ratcliff has been a NASCAR national-level crew chief since 2000, beginning in the Busch-turned-Nationwide-turned-Xfinity Series at the new-defunct Brewco Motorsports before moving to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2005. He moved to the Cup Series in 2012 to be crew chief on the No. 20 team for then-driver Joey Logano. Kenseth became the driver of the No. 20 the following season.

Ratcliff has 15 wins as a Cup Series crew chief — one with Logano as driver and the other 14 with Kenseth. He’s a 36-time winner in the Xfinity Series, including eight-win and 13-win seasons with Kyle Busch as driver in 2009 and 2010 and another eight-win season in 2011. He guided Busch to the Xfinity Series championship in 2009. He was last a crew chief in the Xfinity Series in 2011.

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