Team Penske has issued a major update regarding the NASCAR Cup Series season in 2022. The driver-crew chief pairings have been revealed, with a new name added to the mix. Jonathan Hassler and Ryan Blaney will team up. Given that Blaney’s current crew chief, Todd Gordon, will not be returning to the team in 2022, the pairing is crucial. On June 28, the man behind Joey Logano’s 2018 Cup Series championship announced his retirement after the championship race in November. 7, bringing an end to a 10-year run in the Cup Series.
Hassler will join Team Penske in 2021 to work with Blaney after leaving Wood Brothers Racing. Starting with the June 20 race at Nashville Superspeedway, he replaced Greg Erwin as Matt DiBenedetto’s crew chief and helped the No. 21 team rebound from early-season struggles. Since the race in Nashville, Hassler and DiBenedetto have combined for five top-10 finishes and one top-five. Their best performance together was a fifth-place finish on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Joey Logano’s crew chief for a May 16 race at Dover International Speedway, which resulted in a top-five finish, was Hassler. While Blaney will have a new crew chief for the 2022 season, Logano will stick with a familiar partner.
Logano Will Continue a Successful Partnership That Began in 2020
While Blaney will have a new crew chief for the 2022 season, Logano will stick with a familiar partner. For the third year in a row, he will work for Paul Wolfe, continuing a partnership that began in 2020 and has resulted in four wins and 20 top-five finishes.
Wolfe spent the first nine seasons of his Team Penske career as Brad Keselowski’s crew chief. In 2011, he teamed up with the driver of the No. 2 and began a run that included 29 victories, 110 top-five finishes, and the 2012 Cup Series championship.
Prior to the 2020 season, Team Penske announced that the top three drivers would all have new crew chiefs. Wolfe would depart from Keselowski to join Logano, while Gordon would depart from the No. 22 driver to join Blaney. Jeremy Bullins would eventually leave Blaney and join Keselowski.
The explanation at the time, according to NASCAR, was that Team Penske wanted a car in the final four, which they did not get in 2019. The lack of a championship contender, according to Keselowski, is unacceptable, and the changes will help the team recover from a good but not great year.
These adjustments were successful, particularly for Keselowski and Logano. In 2020, the two Team Penske drivers advanced to the championship four, where they competed for the Cup Series title against Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott. The Hendrick Motorsports driver won the season finale to claim his first championship, but Keselowski and Logano finished second and third, respectively. With Keselowski leaving Team Penske at the end of the 2021 season to become a driver-owner for Roush Fenway Racing, there will be a new man in the No. 2 Ford.
Austin Cindric Will Work With a Winning Crew Chief as a Rookie
With Keselowski leaving Team Penske at the end of the 2021 season to become a driver-owner for Roush Fenway Racing, there will be Austin Cindric will make the jump from the Xfinity Series and will be met with high expectations right away. Cindric will face a difficult task in achieving immediate success, but he will have a winning crew chief on his side. He’ll be joined by Jeremy Bullins, who has a total of eight Cup Series victories with Team Penske. Bullins started as a part-time crew chief for Blaney in 2014 and 2015 before becoming his full-time crew chief in 2016. The pair raced together until the end of the 2019 season, winning three races in total. Bullins teamed up with Keselowski in 2020 and went to Victory Lane four times in total. Under his leadership, the No. 2 team excelled, finishing 24 times in the top ten and 13 times in the top five. Bullins and Keselowski haven’t had the same level of success in 2021 as other Ford drivers have struggled to compete with Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing, but they did win at Talladega Superspeedway on April 25. READ NEXT: Matt DiBenedetto on 2022 Plans: ‘I’ve Got Zero’