With two-race suspensions completed, the regular crew chiefs for Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are back on top of their respective war wagons this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
Both drivers had parts confiscated from the rear ends of their cars before the April 13 event at Texas Motor Speedway. That led to NASCAR delivering massive penalties to their teams, with crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (Keselowski) and Todd Gordon (Logano) initially hit with six-race suspensions. However, the suspensions for Wolfe and Gordon were later reduced to two-race spans, and now both of them are returning to action for Sunday’s FedEx400 benefiting Autism Speaks.
Perhaps Wolfe can help turn around Keselowski’s fortunes, which have not been very good as of late; the reigning Sprint Cup champion has fallen back to 10th in points after 32nd and 36th place finishes in the last two events at Darlington and Charlotte.
“It was tougher to deal with then what I thought it would be,” Wolfe said to the Associated Press about his suspension. “I am a hands-on kind of guy, and for me to be able to watch the car in practice and see how it runs around other cars is important for me, visually, to see that and make decisions on what changes to make.”
As for Keselowski, he believes that his team is ready to make a run up the table now that it is back at full strength with the return of Wolfe, as well as car chief Jerry Kelley and engineer Brian Wilson.
“Paul and I are like the quarterback and the head coach but it takes more than the quarterback and head coach and there was more than our head coach sitting out,” he said. “We lost our car chief and our head engineer too. Getting everyone back adds to the comfort level. I think we are going to have a strong few weeks, I really do.”
Logano was also happy to get his full team back as well, particularly Gordon.
“It’s been tough just talking with him away from the track and seeing him at the shop,” he said. “But the guys that filled in during the time he and everyone else was out did a great job. I think we really made the best of the situation and I don’t think we really missed a beat and that was obvious the last couple of weeks in Charlotte.
“But it will be nice having Todd back at the track for sure. I’m ready for things to get back to normal and focus on winning some of these races.”