A significant milestone is in the making for Dave Rogers, a veteran crew chief for Joe Gibbs Racing who is currently atop the pit box of the No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota Supra team piloted by rookie Riley Herbst in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. When the green flag waves on Friday, August 28, for the upcoming Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Rogers will reach 150 races as an Xfinity crew chief.
A native from Marshfield, Vermont, who earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Clarkson University and a master’s degree in vehicle dynamics from Kettering University, Rogers joined Joe Gibbs Racing in July 1998 and worked in the team’s shop. The following season, he worked as a race engineer for the No. 20 Chevrolet team driven by Tony Stewart and led by crew chief Greg Zipadelli.
In 2005, when Joe Gibbs Racing expanded to a three-car operation in the NASCAR Cup Series, Rogers was named crew chief of the newly formed No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet team driven by Long Beach, California’s Jason Leffler. Through the first 11 Cup races, Leffler and Rogers’ highest finish of the season was a 12th-place run at Martinsville Speedway in April as they struggled with consistency. After Leffler failed to qualify for the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May, Rogers was replaced by Mike Ford.
In 2006, Rogers was named crew chief for JGR’s No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet team driven by Denny Hamlin. Together, the combo achieved their first two career victories (Mexico City and Darlington) as Hamlin also achieved seven poles, 12 top-five results, 23 top-10 results and an average result of 12.4 before concluding the season in fourth place in the final standings.
The following season, Rogers remained as crew chief for the No. 20 JGR Chevrolet team that was shared between Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Travis Kittleson, Tony Stewart and J.J. Yeley. Between the five competitors, Rogers recorded four victories, seven poles, 12 top-five results and 21 top-10 results.
For the 2008 Xfinity Series season, when JGR swapped manufacturers from Chevrolet to Toyota, Rogers remained as crew chief for the No. 20 team split between Hamlin, Stewart Kyle Busch and newcomer Joey Logano. For the majority of the season, Rogers achieved nine victories, five poles, 14 top-five results and 19 top-10 results between all four competitors. In August, however, Rogers was among a number of JGR employees who were suspended from NASCAR indefinitely after NASCAR penalized JGR’s Nos. 18 and 20 Xfinity Series teams due to rule violations discovered by NASCAR inspectors prior to post-race testing on the chassis dynamometer at Michigan International Speedway. Despite the hefty points penalties and suspensions, JGR’s No. 20 Toyota team went on to win the Xfinity owners’ championship as Wally Brown, Doug Hewitt and Joel Weidman were atop the pit box of JGR’s Xfinity Series operations.
In 2009, Rogers returned as crew chief for Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota Camry team piloted between Logano, Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto and Brad Coleman. Throughout the season, Rogers achieved five victories (all with Logano). He also recorded five poles, 12 top-five results and 16 top-10 results between the four competitors.
Prior to the conclusion of the 2009 season, Rogers was named crew chief for Kyle Busch and the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota Camry team (a driver and team that had missed the 2009 Playoffs) for the final three Cup Series races as he replaced Steve Addington, who would eventually join forces with team owner Roger Penske and serve as crew chief for Kurt Busch. Rogers’ first Cup race with Busch was at Texas Motor Speedway in November. During the race, Busch led a race-high 232 of the event’s 334 laps and was in position to win until he ran out of fuel with three laps remaining and settled in 11th place while brother Kurt went on to win. With Roger atop the pit box, Kyle Busch went on to finish 12th and eighth in the final two races of the season.
From 2010 to 2014, Rogers was a full-time crew chief for Kyle Busch and the No. 18 Toyota team in the Cup Series. He recorded 12 victories, the non-point Shootout at Daytona International Speedway in February 2012, 11 poles, 62 top-five results and 93 top-10 results with Busch as their best points result was fourth place in 2013. He also served as crew chief for Michael McDowell at Texas in November when Busch was suspended for intentionally wrecking NASCAR Hall of Famer Ron Hornaday Jr. in a Truck race two days earlier. In 2015, following a major shakeup to Joe Gibbs Racing’s crew chief lineup, Rogers was assigned to the No. 11 FedEx Toyota team to serve as crew chief for Hamlin while Adam Stevens took over as Kyle Busch’s Cup crew chief. Together, Rogers and Hamlin won two races as they also delivered the first All-Star Race win for Joe Gibbs Racing in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway. They also achieved three poles, 14 top-five results and 20 top-10 results before Hamlin concluded the season in ninth place in the standings. In 2016, Rogers was assigned to the No. 19 ARRIS/Subway/Stanley/Sport Clips/Comcast/Xfinity Toyota team to serve as crew chief for Carl Edwards. Together, the combo achieved three victories, six poles, nine top-five results and 18 top-10 results. At the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November, Edwards was in position of winning his first Cup championship until contact from Joey Logano turned Edwards into the inside wall as he was involved in a vicious multi-car accident with 10 laps remaining. The wreck evaporated the championship hopes for Edwards and Rogers as Edwards concluded the season in fourth place in the final standings.
In 2017, Rogers remained as a Cup crew chief for the No. 19 Toyota team piloted by Daniel Suarez, the reigning Xfinity Series champion who moved to the Cup circuit after Edwards announced his departure from racing. Following the first five races, where Rogers and Suarez achieved back-to-back seventh-place results, Rogers took an indefinite leave of absence from NASCAR and was replaced by the reigning two-time Xfinity Series championship-winning crew chief Scott Graves.
Four months later, in June, Rogers returned from his leave of absence and assumed the role as technical director for Joe Gibbs Racing’s Xfinity Series program. Throughout the 2017 season, he served as an interim crew chief for rookie Matt Tifft and the No. 19 Toyota Camry team at Kansas Speedway in October, where Tifft started and finished eighth, following a one-race suspension for crew chief Matt Beckman. In 2018, he served as crew chief for Suarez and the No. 19 Toyota team for the final six Cup races of the season. Their best result was a ninth-place run at Martinsville in October. He also served as a crew chief for Kyle Benjamin and the No. 18 Toyota team at Iowa Speedway in July, where Benjamin finished in third place.
Prior to the conclusion of the 2019 season, Rogers was named crew chief for incoming rookie Riley Herbst and the No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota team for the 2020 Xfinity Series season. The combo started off on a low note when Herbst was involved in a multi-car wreck prior on the final lap of the second stage and finished 32nd. They rebounded the following three races by achieving three top-10 results, with Herbst achieving a career-best runner-up result at Auto Club Speedway in February behind teammate, rookie and first-time winner Harrison Burton. From Darlington Raceway in May through last weekend’s Dover International Speedway doubleheader races, Herbst and Rogers recorded nine additional top-10 results and another runner-up result in the first of a Kentucky Speedway doubleheader in July.
Through the first 21 races of this season, Herbst is in 10th place in the Xfinity Series regular-season standings and is 116 points above the top-12 cutline to make this year’s Playoffs and with five regular-season races remaining until the Playoff field is determined.
Catch crew chief Dave Rogers’ milestone start at Daytona on August 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.