Todd Gordon to Chief of Staff for Jimmy Johnson; Dave Elenz signs an extension with the Legacy Motor Club for crew chief Eric Jones
BROOKLYN, MI – AUGUST 07: Eric Jones, driver of the #43 FOCUSfactor Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR FireKeepers Casino Cup Series 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 7, 2022 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The LEGACY MOTOR CLUB announced today that NASCAR veteran Todd Gordon will shift crew chief to seven-time NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson’s limited-time racing schedule in the No. 84 Chevrolet. In addition, the team announced a contract extension with Dave Elenz, to remain Erik Jones’ crew and car chief. No. 43 Chevrolet through 2025. Elenz and Gordon will work alongside NASCAR Rookie of the Year candidate Noah Gragson, crew chief Luke Lambert, and the No. 42 team.
As with many professionals in the motorsports industry, Gordon, 53, got his start as a driver, racing in super-modified limited editions at Oswego Speedway near his hometown of Camden, New York. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Clemson University and after hanging up on a helmet, pursued a career in NASCAR. Gordon began working in the Busch Series (now Xfinity) as a factory and mechanic in 1998. From 2004 to 2011, Gordon served as crew chief for several teams in the Xfinity Series, compiling seven pole positions, seven wins, and 18 top five finishes, joining 43 Top 10 Player to Team Penske in 2011.
At the start of the 2013 season, Gordon was matched up with driver Joey Logano, and led the team to 21 wins, a NASCAR All-Star win in 2017 and a 2018 NASCAR Cup Series championship. In the final two seasons of his career as crew chief, Gordon was paired with Ryan Blaney, winning four racing, before announcing his retirement at the end of the 2021 season. Throughout his successful career at the highest level in NASCAR, he has 18 pole positions, 25 race wins, 123 top five finishes, and 199 top ten finishes. Gordon is currently a radio sportscaster on the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and is co-host of “Late Shift” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Once the fierce competitors get on the track, Gordon and Johnson will be navigating the limited-time racing schedule starting with the DAYTONA 500.
“I am really looking forward to working with another champion who still has the desire to compete and win at the highest level,” said Gordon. “In my conversations with Jimmie, I’ve found that we miss the competition—but don’t want a lot of a full-time schedule—so this is a great opportunity for us to continue racing and help the LEGACY MOTOR CLUB build on the success they’ve seen in 2022.”
“The pressure of ‘making the race’ through qualifying and duel races is going to be a little stressful with a car that Jimmy and I haven’t worked with yet,” Gordon continued. “But the team had really good cars at high speeds last season, so we have great resources, great teammates and a good starting point.”
Johnson echoes Gordon’s enthusiasm and anticipation for the upcoming season.
“I am thrilled to have Todd on board as my Chief of Staff,” Johnson said. “I have really enjoyed getting to know him these past few weeks. I have known and respected him as a competitor for many years and have always appreciated his professionalism, work ethic and results. His wisdom and experience will be beneficial to LEGACY MC as a whole. I think he will work very well with Dave, Luke and the whole team.”
The 2023 season marks the second year of the pairing of Eric Jones and Dave Ellens under the No. 43 banner made famous by Richard Petty. In their first season together, the pair had one win at the Darlington Southern 500, three top fives and 13 top ten finishes.
Ellens, 41, is a native of Gaylord, Michigan and a graduate of Clemson University. He started his career in 2001 as an engineer. Elenz worked for Jasper Racing, Ginn Racing, and the Red Bull Racing Team before joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. While at Hendrick, Elenz was Johnson’s team engineer for the No. 48 team and together they won the 2013 NASCAR Cup Series title. In 2015 Elenz joined JR Motorsports’ Xfinity Series team as crew chief. There, Elenz achieved great success winning 15 races with six different drivers and back-to-back Xfinity Series titles with William Byron in 2017 and Tyler Reddick in 2018. After driving the No. 9 car driven by (Noah) Gragson for three seasons, Elenz joined LEGACY MC to Crew chief Jones at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
“I am excited to continue my career for 2023 and beyond at LEGACY MC,” said Ellens. “We had a great season last year thanks to Eric and everyone on the team. There is a lot of excitement and opportunity at the moment at LEGACY MC and I am really looking forward to getting back on the track.”
“The amount of talent and pedigree of people we have at LEGACY MC is really impressive,” said Team President Mike Beam. “I really can’t wait to get on the track and see what we can achieve together. Maury (Gallagher), Jimmy and Joey Cohen and I have worked hard during the off-season to put the right people in the right place. The experience that comes with crew chiefs and championship-winning drivers will help us carry on the legacy Which Maury and I built with GMS Racing and Richard (Petty) and Dale (Inman) built with Richard Petty Motorsports and will drive LECACY MC forward.”
The LEGACY MC participates in a two-day NASCAR approved test at Phoenix Raceway January 24-25 with Jones and Johnson. This is the first time that Johnson and Gordon will test the next-generation car before they hit the Daytona track next month.
The NASCAR Cup Series season will kick off in Los Angeles, California at LA Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, February 5, in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. JOIN FOX 8:00 PM ET as the LEGACY MOTOR CLUB makes its highly anticipated official debut on the track in an exhibition race prior to the 65th Annual DAYTONA 500.
– Legacy Motor Club –