Richard Petty Motorsports has hired Dave Elenz to be the crew chief for Erik Jones and the No. 43 team, beginning with the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series.
Elenz will be a first-time Cup Series crew chief as Jones goes into his second season with the organization. But Elenz is no stranger to the Cup Series, having won the 2013 championship as an engineer on Jimmie Johnson’s team at Hendrick Motorsports. His career began in 2001 at Jasper Racing, and he also spent time at Ginn Racing (2003-07) and Red Bull Racing (2009-11). Elenz was the lead engineer for Red Bull Racing when it won its first race at Michigan in 2009.
Recently, Elenz has been winning races and championships in the Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports. Elenz won back-to-back titles with William Byron in 2017 and then Tyler Reddick in 2018. He spent the last three years working with Noah Gragson. In 228 starts in the Xfinity Series, Elenz has won 15 races with six different drivers.
“In 2001, when I started in NASCAR, my goal was to contend for a NASCAR Cup Series championship title as a crew chief,” Elenz said. “The past seven years at JR Motorsports has prepared me for the next chapter in my career. Working with champion-caliber drivers like William (Byron), Tyler (Reddick), and Noah (Gragson) has not only fueled my desire to move up to the next level but has also prepared me to the fullest for that next step.
“I appreciate Noah’s support and encouragement on this decision. I have immense gratitude for everyone at JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports and their continued support over the years. I cannot thank them enough. I am excited to start my next chapter with Erik (Jones) and Richard Petty Motorsports.”
Elenz replaces Jerry Baxter. Jones and Baxter finished 24th in the championship standings with six top-10 finishes.
“I have watched Dave’s career develop, and I have always been impressed with him as a person and as a competitor,” said Philippe Lopez, competition director for Richard Petty Motorsports. “As a race engineer, he has won races and a championship in the NASCAR Cup Series, and as a crew chief, he has won races and championships in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a very diverse group of drivers. I am very excited to have him take on the role as crew chief for Richard Petty Motorsports as we roll out the Next Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the 2022 season.”