Mike Ford, released by Joe Gibbs Racing last season after guiding Denny Hamlin to six straight Chase appearances, will take over as the crew chief for Aric Almirola at Richard Petty Motorsports.

Ford will replace Greg Erwin with the famous No. 43 that Richard Petty drove to 200 wins and seven titles, beginning with Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Ford led Hamlin to 17 wins and 66 top-5 finishes at JGR before being replaced by Darian Grubb, who led Tony Stewart to the championship last season.

The 42-year-old previously served as the crew chief for Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing and Bill Elliott at Evernham Motorsports.