CUP: Penske Picks Fill-Ins

With the car chiefs, crew chiefs, engineers and the team manager for its two NASCAR Sprint Cup teams suspended for the next two points races, plus the May 18 Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Penske Racing is temporarily realigning its crews.

The seven Penske Racing crew members will be on the sidelines briefly because of rear suspension violations found in the No. 2 Ford of Brad Keselowski and the No. 22 of Joey Logano prior to a race last month at Texas Motor Speedway.

Wednesday afternoon, the team announced the following changes:

TEAM MANAGER, MIKE NELSON — The vice president of operations for Penske, Nelson will replace Travis Geisler as team manager for both cars.

No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion:

CREW CHIEF, KEVIN BUSKIRK — A former driver and crew chief, Buskirk joined Penske racing prior to the 2012 season. He currently manages the test teams for Penske Racing.

RACE ENGINEER, JONATHAN HASSLER — The lead engineer for the No. 22 Sprint Cup Series team last season, Hassler helped the No. 22 Nationwide Series team earn six victories in 2011.

CAR CHIEF, NICK HENSELY — A Penske Racing team member since 2007, Hensely has worked with the No. 2 team since the 2011 season.

No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion:

CREW CHIEF, STEVE REIS — Normally one of the team’s engineers, Reis has been with Penske Racing since 2009 and has been with the No. 22 team since 2011. Before, he served as the race engineer on the No. 77 Penske Racing Sprint Cup team

RACE ENGINEER, BEN ATKINS — An engineer with Penske Racing, Atkins worked with Todd Gordon during the 2011 season.

CAR CHIEF, JEFFERY THOUSAND — Thousand, who has been with Penske Racing for close to 20 years, served as the car chief for the No. 22 through last season.

NOTE — Greg Erwin, Sam Hornish Jr.’s crew chief in the Nationwide Series, will sit atop the pit box on race day for the Shell-Pennzoil team and serve as a race strategist. Erwin will continue in his role as Sam Hornish’ s crew chief in the Nationwide Series.

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for You can follow him online at