Busy Weekend for Joey Meier

Joey Meier

"The weekend went off without a hitch. We came back Sunday morning and we were there for the start of the Sprint Cup race."

It was a busy weekend, but nothing out of the ordinary for Joey Meier.

He's Brad Keselowski's spotter and pilot, and ended up making an extra round-trip flight from Phoenix to North Carolina during the Sprint Cup weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Following Saturday's first practice session, Meier was informed by Travis Geisler - the Competition Director at Team Penske - that he would be flying Keselowski's crew chief, Paul Wolfe, back to Charlotte because Wolfe’s wife Aleah went into labor.

"It was busy, but it was a different busy," Meier said of his weekend. "Normally, I'm at the track on a Saturday doing Sprint Cup qualifying, practice or Nationwide qualifying and the Nationwide race. This time, I just got to do one practice session and jump on the airplane.

"I felt like a stork, I felt like I was bringing Paul to see the birth of his child."

Paul and Aleah Wolfe welcomed their first child, Caden Paul Wolfe, early Sunday morning. A plan was already in place for Vegas race week closer to the due date but after the call, the Penske team and Meier quickly worked to get Wolfe back home.

"We had a very quick time for me to call the other pilot I fly with," Meier said. "We met Paul at the airport and flew back to Statesville (N.C.)."

Normally a 3.5-hour flight, Meier – flying Keselowski’s small corporate jet - was able to shorten the flight a bit.

"You would like to go as directly as you can but when you're on the West Coast with different air space rules, you kind of zig-zag across the country," Meier said. "But under certain circumstances, you can pull some strings - which I have not done in a while. I called ahead to as many people as I could and told them, 'Hey, I've got an expectant father on the airplane.' So essentially, from Phoenix I cleared directly to Charlotte and we were able to kick off 20 minutes of flight time. We made it back in three hours and 12 minutes."

The team assigned engineer Brian Wilson to car adjustments for Sunday’s race with Greg Erwin, general manager of Team Penske's Nationwide Series program and a former crew chief, aiding in strategy calls. Keselowski finished third.

"They did a great job," Keselowski said. "I still had two more spots to go. All things considered, I thought they did really well. I was very proud of the effort."

Tab Boyd served as the spotter until Meier returned to the track Sunday morning.

"I actually got more sleep than I would have if I had stayed in Phoenix because I probably would have gone out Saturday with the guys for dinner, off a time zone change," Meier said. "I was on a better schedule back on the East Coast, ironically enough, than if I would have stayed in Phoenix.

"The weekend went off without a hitch. We came back Sunday morning and we were there for the start of the Sprint Cup race."

After co-hosting "Motorsports Monday" on MRN.com, Meier will get ready to fly Keselowski to Orlando tomorrow for an Alliance Truck Parts appearance before heading out to Las Vegas on Wednesday.

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