Lambert, 39, who spent the past eight seasons as a crew chief in the Cup Series and most recently working for drivers Chris Buescher and Ryan Newman at Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, will take over JRM’s No. 9 Chevrolet team and work with driver Noah Gragson.
Gragson finished third in the final standings in the 2021 Xfinity Series season.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of really good opportunities and experiences in the sport, and looking at JR Motorsports and what I think we are capable of accomplishing, it felt like a really good fit,” Lambert said.
“That’s what was exciting for me, because I feel like we have the opportunity to be really competitive and make a run at the NASCAR Xfinity Series title. That’s what I wanted to be part of here.”
While Lambert and Gragson are in the early part of building a relationship, the new crew chief sees much potential in the 23-year-old Las Vegas native, who capped the 2021 season with three wins, 13 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes.
“I can’t wait to start working with Luke and to see what his experience and knowledge can bring to this No. 9 team,” said Gragson. “After how close we came to winning the championship last season, there’s a ton of momentum on this No. 9 team.
“I think Luke will bring a fresh perspective to what we already have at JR Motorsports.”
Lambert, a native of Mount Airy, N.C., graduated from N.C. State University’s Motorsports program and joined RCR as an engineer in 2005. As a Cup Series crew chief, Lambert has one victory (in 2017 at Phoenix Raceway with Newman), 26 top-five and 86 top-10 finishes.
In 2012, he headed RCR’s No. 2 Xfinity team with driver Elliott Sadler, earning four victories, 15 top-five and 24 top-10 finishes on the way to a second-place finish in the final standings.
The announcement sets JRM’s driver and crew chief lineup for 2022. Jason Burdett will return to the No. 7 Chevrolet with driver Justin Allgaier, Mike Bumgarner will have driver Josh Berry for the full season in the No. 8 Chevrolet, and Taylor Moyer will pair with Sam Mayer in the No. 1 Chevrolet.