HODGES: FROM LAN­G­LEY TO TEAM PENSKE

Daily Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By Marty O'Brien Staff writer

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

COUR­TESY OF JEF­FER­SON HODGES

Jef­fer­son Hodges, who grew up in New Kent, smiles af­ter spot­ting for a 2018 Xfin­ity Se­ries race vic­tory by Brad Ke­selowski.

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