“Been Working Towards This” – Austin Cindric’s Crew Chief Highlights Challenges of New Role at Team Penske

Published 01/21/2021, 8:22 AM EST
SPARTA, KENTUCKY – JULY 10: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 Snap-On Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Samuel ‘Miles’ Stanley has worked at Team Penske for nearly eight years now. Heading into the 2021 Daytona 500, he will have a new challenge on his hands as an operating crew chief.

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Recently, it was announced that Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric would appear for Team Penske in the No.33 ‘open car.’ Helping the driver in his journey will be Stanley, who has some prior experience working as the boss atop the pit box.
Speaking in an interview, he revealed his thoughts about undertaking the new position. Stanley also talks more about the opportunity and the challenges associated with the crew chief role.

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Definitely more of a new challenge, says Team Penske race engineer Stanley

Stanley stated, “Being a crew chief at the top level has been my goal, I would say. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to deal with such a great team. But yeah, I’ve been working towards this for nearly most of my professional career.
“It’s certainly more responsibility, certainly a little bit different when it’s your call and your decision. There’s definitely some pressure with all of that. But it’s definitely more of a new challenge.”

AUDIO: @Team_Penske crew chief/engineer Miles Stanley joined @ClaireBLang on #DialedIn to talk about the deal that sees @AustinCindric entered in the #Daytona500 next month.

He'll be atop his pit box making the calls:👇🏼📡@DAYTONA | @FordPerformance pic.twitter.com/5q9OHN7Ihl

— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) January 21, 2021

Back in 2020, Stanley, alongside full-time crew chief Todd Gordon, transitioned towards working on Ryan Blaney’s No.12 car. He was also Joey Logano’s former race engineer and stated that he has previous expertise working as a crew chief with an erstwhile team, Robby Gordon Motorsports.
“I kind of have some experience. In 2011-2012, I was actually the crew chief on Robby Gordon’s car. So I have a little bit of experience, I know a little bit about what that pressure’s like,” concluded Cindric’s new crew chief.

The 2020 Xfinity Series champion would have proper guidance from Miles Stanley

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Driving the No.33 car in 2021 would give Cindric experience, considering he moves into the Cup Series full-time in 2022 with Wood Brothers Racing. Attempting a partial Cup schedule would give the 22-year-old immense confidence, as he also focusing on retaining the Xfinity title.
BOWMANVILLE, ON – SEPTEMBER 03: Austin Cindric, driver of the #19 Draw-Tite/Reese Ford, poses with the championship trophy and sponsor hat at Victory Lane after winning the race at Canadian Tire Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
At the same time, it will also be a shift in the learning curve for Stanley himself. Having proven his abilities as a race engineer, the team could look to groom him in a full-time crew chief position too.

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Therefore, it would seem like Team Penske has gotten the best of both worlds with Cindric and Stanley. All that remains to be seen is whether the pair can get along and deliver good results for the team.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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