Hornish gets Newman's crew chief Penske Racing today announced that Travis Geisler will immediately replace Chris Carrier as the crew chief of the Mobil 1 Dodge, driven by Sam Hornish Jr. A mechanical engineering graduate from Vanderbilt, Geisler, 27, had been the race engineer for the Alltel Dodge, and was an integral part of Penske Racing’s historic 2008 Daytona 500 victory.
A Pittsburgh native, Geisler began racing go-karts at age 14 and moved to Dirt Late Models two years later. He ran four years in NASCAR’s Weekly Racing Series, where in 2002, he won seven of his 17 races at Motordrome Speedway in Smithton, Pennsylvania, and finished second in the point standings. From 2002 to 2003, Geisler also ran in ARCA, ASA and the NASCAR Touring Series. His racing resume culminated in 2004 when he ran 12 races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for DCT Motorsports.
Geisler’s shop experience extends back to 1995 in his father’s racing operation, where he was a car chief and shop foreman. While he was racing, Geisler ran all aspects of his own team from 1998 through 2004 and operated as a team engineer for DCT from 2004 through 2005. In 2006, Geisler was a race engineer for Robert Yates Racing in its Nationwide and Cup Series operations. He joined Penske Racing in November 2006.
“We appreciate the effort Chris has put into this role. However, this is a performance oriented business and when the results are not meeting the expectations, we have to make changes,” said Tim Cindric, president, Penske Racing. “Travis is another example of our willingness to promote from within. His depth of knowledge as a racer and engineer, as well as his proven ability to work with both drivers and crews, will be a great addition to the entire Mobil 1 team.”
Ben Atkins will replace Geisler as the race engineer on the Alltel Dodge. Atkins, a native of Virginia and Duke University graduate in mechanical engineering, was previously assigned to the Penske Racing test team. Prior to joining Penske Racing, Atkins was with Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a race engineer.