Strange day for NASCAR crew chiefs raises questions –

As days go for NASCAR crew chiefs, they don’t get much stranger than Wednesday was.

First off, Stewart-Haas Racing announced that it would drop its appeal of the one-race suspension handed out to Rodney Childers, crew chief of Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Ford. That means Childers won’t be at Martinsville Speedway for the running of the STP 500 (coverage starts Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on FS1).

SHR named Daniel Knost as Childers’ replacement on Thursday morning.

Then, out of the blue, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that crew chief Dave Rogers, who led the No. 19 team and driver Daniel Suárez, was taking an indefinite leave of absence for personal reasons. No further explanation was given to Rogers’ decision, which comes little more than two months after driver Carl Edwards walked away from the team.

Rogers got his start with JGR in 2005, when he was named crew chief for the late Jason Leffler. In 271 races as a Cup crew chief, Rogers’ cars won 18 races and had 85 top-five finishes.

But there was more.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Team Penske announced that after not appealing crew chief Paul Wolfe’s three-race suspension at Auto Club Speedway last weekend, it would appeal it this week, so Wolfe will be at Martinsville with driver Brad Keselowski.

“After having the opportunity to review the facts, Team Penske has decided to appeal the penalties following the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in Phoenix,” the team said in a statement. “We have requested an appeal hearing and we plan to follow the process as outlined in the NASCAR rulebook.  The appeals administration has granted our request to defer the two races remaining on Paul Wolfe’s suspension until the results of our appeal are known.” will continue to follow the sagas of the crew chiefs as the Martinsville weekend goes on.

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