Team Penske shuffle crew chiefs for Cup team

by Justin Nguyen

It has been an eventful Monday at Team Penske, and a crew chief shuffle only adds to that. Hours after team owner Roger Penske completed his acquisition of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar, his NASCAR Cup Series stable announced a movement among crew chiefs for the 2020 season.

Paul Wolfe, who worked with Brad Keselowski and the #2 team to win the 2012 Cup title, will migrate to the #22 with Joey Logano. Logano’s 2018 championship crew chief Todd Gordon is going to Ryan Blaney and the #12, while the #12’s Jeremy Bullins is off to the #2.

“As we do after the completion of each season, we evaluated what we can do to better achieve our goals and we felt it was time to make these changes to better position us to reach our potential,” Penske stated in a team release. “We are fortunate that we have three very strong leaders in Paul, Todd and Jeremy, who work with experienced and talented crews. Pairing each of these winning teams with different drivers and cars should provide new energy and a fresh approach for the 2020 season.”

Wolfe, a former driver, joined Penske in 2010 with Keselowski in what is now the Xfinity Series. That year, the two won the series title in a six-win season, and they stuck together for the move to the Cup level and the #2 the following season. From 2011 to 2019, the pair won twenty-nine Cup races and the 2012 championship for Penske’s first premier series driver’s title. In 2019, they won three races and finished eighth in points.

Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images

Gordon has worked with the #22 since the end of the 2011 season, joining the team in rather tumultuous circumstances after Kurt Busch‘s departure. At the time, Gordon was part of Penske’s Xfinity stable, winning six races with Keselowski and Busch. After another chaotic campaign in 2012 in which the #22 was driven by A.J. Allmendinger until his suspension and Sam Hornish Jr., he partnered with Logano starting in 2013. In the seven seasons since, the two enjoyed twenty-one wins and the 2018 championship. Their 2019 title defense came up short as they finished fifth in the standings, just shy of making the Championship Round.

Bullins migrated to Penske in 2012 to work with the Xfinity programme. In 2013, his #22 team won the series’ owner’s championship as Keselowski, Blaney, Logano, and Allmendinger shared time in the car and all won races (twelve total). The following season saw Bullins start his work in the Cup Series with Blaney and Penske ally Wood Brothers Racing, whom Bullins had previously worked with at the turn of the century after college. On the Xfinity side, the #22 repeated as owner’s champion. Blaney and Bullins have won three races (once with WBR, twice with Penske), and the two finished seventh in the 2019 standings.

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