The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 team and the No. 2 and No. 22 Penske Racing teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series had their penalties reduced this week, including crew chief suspensions. While the suspensions of crew chiefs — and other crew members in the case of the Penske teams — weren’t completely eliminated, so there will be three interim crew chiefs on duty Saturday night for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.
Wally Brown will fill-in for the suspended Jason Ratcliff for JGR’s No. 20 team (driver: Matt Kenseth). Ratcliff is serving a one-race suspension. Brown was crew chief for Carl Edwards at Roush Fenway Racing in 2005.
The Penske crew chiefs, Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon, are on two-race suspensions (three if you count next week’s Sprint All-Star Race) that begin this weekend at Darlington.
Kevin Buskirk will be atop the No. 2 (driver: Brad Keselowski) pit box in place of Wolfe, while Steve Reis will be interim crew chief for the No. 22 team (driver: Joey Logano) in Gordon’s absence.
Buskirk is a former Cup level crew chief with 63 races of experience at NASCAR’s top level. His current regular job is head of Penske Racing’s testing program. Reis is a team engineer. He’ll be assisted by Greg Erwin, crew chief for one of Penske’s Nationwide Series teams.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR