Saturday, September 18, 2021

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NNS: Dave Elenz set to replace Ernie Cope’s position at JR Motorsports

According to an article posted at, Dave Elenz will take over crew chiefing the No. 5 JR Motorsports team in 2015.

JR Motorsports already announced earlier this year that Ernie Cope, the current crew chief, will be working with Chase Elliott and the No. 9 team in 2015 as Elliott’s current crew chief Greg Ives will move up to the Sprint Cup Series and crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Steve LeTarte, who is currently partnered with Earnhardt, will be heading off to the pit box and going to the NBC Broadcast booth.

The No. 5 car, which has driven by Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Alex Bowman, Kasey Kahne, Josh Berry and Austin Therualt this year, serves as the team’s third car for the Sprint Cup Series stars to split with young and upcoming drivers being given a shot.

Dave Elenz is currently one of the lead engineers on the No. 48 Sprint Cup Series car with driver Jimmie Johnson, after working on the No. 88 team with Earnhardt as an engineer in 2013. The engineering background that Elenz has is one of the key reasons for the move, according to JRM Competition Director Robin Pemberton.

“The tools the crew chief uses in this day and age is all SIM-oriented, it’s all technology,” Pemberton told “Having a crew chief that has an engineering background and a lot of experience on top of the pitbox with great guys like Steve Letarte and Chad Knaus makes a lot of sense. Everything it takes to make a car go fast is engineer driven so it helps to have someone with that type of background to be a leader.

“The knowledge, the skill sets that he has fits perfect for what we have but also with our relationship with Hendrick. Dave has the friends, he has the relationshps and he has knowledge of the Hendrick tools helps expedite the process and not having to learn things from scratch.”

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