Penske names interim crew chiefs

Penske Racing has named Kevin Buskirk and Steve Reis as the interim crew chiefs for the Nos. 2 and 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup teams, respectively, starting this weekend at Darlington Raceway and through the next two weeks during the All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Penske Racing is operating without Brad Keselowski’s crew chief Paul Wolfe and Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon as well as team manager/competition director Travis Geisler, the team’s engineers and car chiefs for the next two points races and the All-Star race. All are serving a suspension due to illegal suspension parts discovered on both cars in pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13.

Their sentences were reduced from six points races plus the All-Star Race to two points races and the All-Star Race after the National Stock Car Racing chief appellate officer heard Penske Racing’s appeal on Tuesday.

Greg Erwin, who is Sam Hornish Jr.’s Nationwide Series crew chief in the organization, will serve as team strategist for the No. 22 of Logano on race day. Mike Nelson, Penske Racing vice president of operations, will fill in for Geisler as team manager.

Buskirk, a former driver and crew chief who oversees Penske Racing’s test teams, will be supported by race engineer Jonathan Hassler and interim car chief Nick Hensley with Keselowski’s team. Reis, who started with Penske in 2009 and is currently one of Logano’s team engineers, will have Ben Atkins filling in as his race engineer and veteran mechanic and former No. 2 car chief Jeffrey Thousand serving in that same role.

Keselowski, the defending Sprint Cup Series champion, is currently sixth in the points standings. Logano, in his first season with Penske Racing, sits 18th.