Dave Elenz named crew chief for Erik Jones, No. 43 team

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Richard Petty Motorsports announced Wednesday that Dave Elenz will join the organization as crew chief for Erik Jones and the No. 43 team next season in the NASCAR Cup Series.

2022 will be Elenz’s first full-time season as a Cup crew chief. He joins RPM from Xfinity Series team JR Motorsports, where he won two series titles with current Cup drivers William Byron (2017) and Tyler Reddick (2018).

Elenz worked with Noah Gragson for the past three seasons and guided him to his first Xfinity Championship 4 appearance this season. Gragson is staying at JR Motorsports for 2022.

“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 in an RPM release. “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.”

Before Elenz joined JR Motorsports as a crew chief in 2015, he worked as an engineer at Hendrick Motorsports. While working under crew chief Chad Knaus, Elenz was an engineer on Jimmie Johnson’s Cup championship-winning No. 48 team in 2013.

Elenz replaces Jerry Baxter, who served as the No. 43 team’s crew chief for the past two seasons. Baxter worked with drivers Bubba Wallace in 2020 and Erik Jones this season.

In his first season with RPM, Jones earned six top-10 finishes and finished 24th in Cup points. His best finish was seventh at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.