Story By: ALICIA DEAL / PETTY GMS – STATESVILLE, NC – Petty GMS announced Tuesday that veteran crew chief Luke Lambert will join the team beginning in 2023 to lead Noah Gragson and the No. 42 Chevrolet team.
“Hiring Luke (Lambert) was the right choice for us when it came to finding a crew chief for Noah (Gragson),” 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 and Gragson are in their first season together at JR Motorsports (JRM) and have amassed a total of eight wins, including four in a row to tie Sam Ard for most consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series wins, a record Ard set in 1983. The duo is currently competing for the 2022 NXS championship and with their most recent win at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the pair locked themselves in to the Championship 4 and will compete for the title at Phoenix Raceway on November 5, 2022.
“I’m looking forward to continuing this journey with Noah,” said Lambert. “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.”
Lambert, a native of Mount Airy, N.C., started his NASCAR career as a race engineer at Richard Childress Racing (RCR) after graduating from NC State. With time at RCR and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, Lambert spent a combined 11 years in the Cup Series and NXS before joining JRM for the 2022 season with Gragson. In 10 seasons atop the pit box in the Cup Series, Lambert qualified for the playoffs three times, including a runner-up result in the standings in 2014 with driver Ryan Newman. Overall, Lambert has amassed a total of, 26 top-fives, 86 top-10s and one victory, coming with Newman in 2017. To accompany Lambert’s success in the Cup Series, the veteran crew chief has earned 12 wins (four with Elliott Sadler, eight with Gragson), 34 top-five finishes and 48 top-10 finishes in just two seasons at the helm in the NXS. In 2012, Lambert led Sadler to a second-place finish in the NXS point standings.
The Lambert and Gragson pairing join second-year Cup crew chief Dave Elenz and Erik Jones to complete the Petty GMS Cup Series line up for 2023.