For JTG Daugherty Racing’s No. 37 Chevrolet SS crew chief Trent Owens, racing is in his blood. The nephew of Hall of Famer Richard Petty, Owens knows the ins and outs of stock car racing. Owens history includes working part-time in Petty’s shop to then becoming a NASCAR driver himself. Owens was also a crew chief in the NASCAR XFINITY Series before finally landing a crew chief role in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The 42-year-old has already won in NASCAR’s top-two divisions and now has his sights set on his next trip to Victory Lane with his driver Chris Buescher.
Looking back, Owens father, the late Randy Owens, was a key player in the pits for Petty and the No. 43 team. Trent grew up gaining priceless mechanical knowledge at the race shop, but decided he wanted to continue to pursue his education. The Darlington, S.C. native earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering, but not before getting the urge to also pursue a driving career. Beginning as a part-time driver at Richard Petty Driving Experience, Owens moved to a full-time driver following the completion of his degree.
Owens began his full-time driving career in the All Pro Series in 1998. Finding success, he moved up to the Hooters Pro Cup in 1999 before making the jump to NASCAR. In 2001, he made his first start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Pikes Peak International Raceway, finishing in the top-20. Owens had 15 starts in two seasons.
In 2003, Owens made the difficult decision to hang up his driver’s suit and focus his skills under the hood of the race car. He started as a shock builder at Rusty Wallace Incorporated (RWI) competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Owens then moved to Braun Racing after two years at RWI in the same division. While still building shocks at Braun Racing, Owens also became a team engineer. In his second season with the team, he was promoted to crew chief of the No. 32 XFINITY Series car. On October 13, 2006, Owens savored his first trip to Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway with Dave Blaney behind the No. 32 wheel. He continued to lead the team at Braun Racing for the next three seasons, earning four poles, 35 top-five finishes, 72 top-10 finishes and an average finish of 16.6 with 21 different drivers.
In 2011, Turner Scott Motorsports acquired Braun Racing, keeping Owens atop the pit box for the next three years. Owens earned Turner Scott Motorsports their first win with Mark Martin at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. Again the crew chief for a rotating driver lineup from 2010-2012, he led the team to four wins, two poles, 24 top-five finishes, 66 top-10 finishes and an 11th-place average finish.
Owens earned his first opportunity at a NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship run in 2013 with rookie driver Kyle Larson. Leading Larson to a Rookie of the Year title and an eighth-place finish in the championship standings, the pair collected nine top-five finishes, 17 top-10 finishes and a 13.8 average finish.
Spending eight years in total in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Owens was offered an opportunity to crew chief at NASCAR’s highest level in 2014 with Richard Petty Motorsports. Owens led the No. 43 team to their first win in his first season with the team, qualifying for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the first time in the organization’s history, and narrowly missing the Chase in Owens’ second year in 2015.
Owens begins his journey with JTG Daugherty Racing and driver Chris Buescher in 2017 as the crew chief for the No. 37 Chevrolet SS. He has one win, five top-five finishes and 13 top-10 finishes in 108 starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as a crew chief, and will look to build upon that success with Buescher.