NASCAR AMERICA: Crew chief Darian Grubb on working with Carl Edwards (VIDEO)

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How does one assess Joe Gibbs Racing’s 2014 season?

On one hand, Denny Hamlin nearly won the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship for them. But on the other, they only got two victories last year – Kyle Busch at Fontana, followed by Hamlin’s own at Talladega in the spring.

Perhaps with the latter issue weighing most heavily, JGR has opted to shuffle its crew chiefs for 2015. As part of that series of moves, Hamlin’s old CC, Darian Grubb (pictured, right), is now joining the team’s new No. 19 program as CC for Carl Edwards (pictured, left).

There’s plenty of intrigue surrounding JGR in its expansion to a four-car operation. With the CC shake-up, the team has shown that it won’t settle for mediocre performance. And Edwards is surely hungry to contend for a title after seeing his former Roush Fenway Racing team decline in recent years.

If he is to contend, he’ll need to have a good relationship with Grubb, who won the Cup as CC for Tony Stewart in 2011.

The driver that Grubb and Stewart beat that year? None other than ‘Cousin Carl’ himself. And on a tiebreaker, no less.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA, Grubb told NBCSN’s Kelli Stavast that he and Edwards have gotten along well early on in their partnership. The pairing officially got started with last month’s Goodyear tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“Luckily, we’ve known each other for a while,” Grubb explained. “Our kids are about the same age, so we spend a lot of time in the motorhome lot and on the playground. I feel pretty comfortable with him already. He’s really got a good personality, so it’s pretty easy to talk to him. We’ve learned a lot [from each other] already.”

For more of Grubb’s thoughts on working with Edwards and having to start with a new team after almost winning the 2014 title with Hamlin and the No. 11 squad, check out his full interview above.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).