Hendrick would welcome back Grubb

Team owner Rick Hendrick says he has spoken with Darian Grubb about a spot at Hendrick Motorsports, though not as a crew chief.

Grubb won the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title with Tony Stewart this season and has been with the Stewart-Haas Racing program since Stewart joined it in 2009. He said shortly after winning the title that he and the driver would be parting ways at the end of the season. Prior to that he worked at Hendrick Motorsports.

Hendrick does not have a crew chief opening as his trio of returning drivers – Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. – will remain with their current crew chiefs and Kasey Kahne is joining the organization with his longtime crew chief, Kenny Francis.

As for Grubb, Hendrick said Monday that he had talked with the championship-winning crew chief about a return to the organization.

“When he left we told him we’d always have a place for him if he wanted to come back and Darian’s a very smart guy,” Hendrick said. “I know he’s entertaining a lot of offers out there. We don’t have a crew chief role, we have an engineering role that we think Darian would be really good in, but at the end of the day it’s got to be what Darian wants to do. He is close to all our people and our guys are close to him.

“We’d love to have him back in the organization, but I quite honestly don’t know where he’s going to end up. We’d like to have him. Whether or not he’s going to decide he wants to be in the role we’ve offered him or he wants to do something somewhere else, I’m just not sure.”