HODGES: FROM LANGLEY TO TEAM PENSKE
Native of New Kent earns key job with top NASCAR team
Jefferson Hodges felt his big break in stock car racing came as a crew member for now-six-time Langley Speedway Late Model champion Danny Edwards Jr. almost 23 years ago. Feeling that he made a difference convinced him that he belonged in the sport.
Hodges has steadily risen since, spending more than eight years as general manager and/or competition director for Rev Racing, which spearheads NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity to include more women and minorities in racing. This week, New Kent native Hodges, 41, was announced as Team Manager of NASCAR Operations for Team Penske.
As such, he will manage administrative and competitionrelated duties for the team’s Cup Series and Xfinity Series programs, which already are reckoned among the best in NASCAR. Team Penske is the home of 2018 Cup champion Joey Logano, former Cup champion Brad Keselowski and 2018 Cup racewinner Ryan Blaney.
Just some of his administrative duties will include managing people, purchasing parts for all of the Cup teams and serving as liaison with the Wood Brothers team of Cup driver Paul Menard, which drives Penske cars. He will also be heavily involved in developing Team Penske Xfinity driver Austin Cindric.
Hodges was on the job in Fontana, Calif., by Thursday, supervising a tire-testing session for defending champion Logano and Goodyear. While there on Friday, he talked to the Daily Press by phone about his new position.
Question: What’s the thought about moving over to the Cup championship team?
Answer: It’s an exciting opportunity. I was a little surprised when they called and offered me the job.
I didn’t apply for
it or go
Jefferson Hodges, who grew up in New Kent, smiles after spotting for a 2018 Xfinity Series race victory by Brad Keselowski.