NASCAR Xfinity: Greg Erwin back atop Team Penske pit box
By AMANDA VINCENT
Greg Erwin has replaced Brian Wilson as crew chief on the No. 22 Team Penske Ford team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Erwin’s first race back as the team’s full-time crew chief will be Saturday’s race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Essentially, Erwin is replacing his replacement, as he was replaced as crew chief on the No. 22 team at the start of the 2016 season.
Erwin served as an Xfinity Series crew chief for Team Penske earlier this month, filling the position on the No. 12 team that competes sporadically for the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. Joey Logano, one of team Penske’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, drove the No. 12 at The Glen and won with Erwin atop the pit box. To this point, that win has been Team Penske’s only Xfinity Series win of the season.
Wilson remains with Team Penske and will be crew chief on the No. 12 team whenever it races. He also will be considered as the crew chief of a second Team Penske full-time Xfinity Series that is set to be added next season.
“He’s still involved,” Team Penske President Tim Cindric told Motorsport.com
. “He won’t go to the Xfinity races in the near future. When you make a change like this, you need to establish complete autonomy and accountability, but he’ll still be part of our competition department.”
Driving duties behind the wheel of the No. 22 Xfinity Series entry are shared, primarily, by Logano and Penske’s other Sprint Cup Series driver, Brad Keselowski. But road-course ringer Alex Tagliani will drive the car at Road America.
Erwin joined Team Penske in 2013 filling positions including team manager of the Xfinity Series program, in addition to working as a crew chief in the Xfinity Series and a fill-in crew chief at the Sprint Cup level. Previously, he was a crew chief at Roush Fenway Racing where he won five Sprint Cup races with driver Greg Biffle.
the No. 22 team has struggled compared to its stats from recent years past. The team, used to multiple wins per season, is winless, so far, and sits fifth in the Xfinity Series owner standings, 22 races into the 33-race season. In 22 races, the No. 22 team has posted eight top-fives and 17 top-10s. In contrast, the team won the last three Xfinity Series owner championships. Erwin was crew chief for the most recent championship in 2015.
“When we look at the performance on the 22 group overall, we’re not convinced that it’s any one thing,” Cindric told Motorsport.com
. ” Certainly, Brian isn’t directly to blame, but unfortunately in this business, you have to change things until something becomes right. Sometimes its chemistry; sometimes it’s physics. It can be a lot of different things.”