Wolfe To Miss Phoenix Race

Paul Wolfe

Crew chief Paul Wolfe (left) will miss Sunday's Sprint Cup race for the birth of his first child. (Photo: Getty Images)

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AVONDALE, Ariz. - Pole-sitter Brad Keselowski will be without crew chief Paul Wolfe for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race after Wolfe flew home Saturday to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.

Engineer Brian Wilson will make the calls on car adjustments in Sunday’s race, while Greg Erwin, general manager of Team Penske's Nationwide program and a former crew chief, will aid in strategy calls.

Wolfe was flown back to North Carolina on Saturday by Keselowski’s spotter, Joey Meier. Tab Boyd served as Keselowski’s spotter when Meier left after the first Sprint Cup practice Saturday. Meier is expected to return to spot for Keselowski in Sunday’s Cup race.

Keselowski admits not having Wolfe will present a challenge.

“It’s definitely not going to make anything easier, but in the grand scheme of the things it’s really important to him,’’ Keselowski said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that nobody wants to miss. I’m happy for him and hope it all goes well.’’

Without Wolfe, will Keselowski feel he has to take a larger role in strategy?

“It’s definitely a different challenge,’’ Keselowski said. “I think we have a very fast car and we can, hopefully, get around that.’’ 

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