Race Engineer, No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil/AAA/Autotrader/MoneyLion Ford Mustang
Brandon “Shaggy” Pope is in his fifth season as a race engineer for Team Penske’s NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) program and he is focused on new opportunities in 2020 as he transitions to working with 2018 NCS champion driver Joey Logano on the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil/AAA/Autotrader/MoneyLion Ford Mustang.
After working with the No. 2 Ford Mustang team over the last several years, Pope joins championship-winning crew chief Paul Wolfe and the rest of the crew from the No. 2 team in the move to the No. 22 team this season.
Pope, a native of Monroe, N.C., has played a key role in Team Penske’s recent NASCAR success. In 2019, the No. 2 team and driver Brad Keselowski posted its fourth consecutive season of winning at least three races. With Wolfe and Pope leading the engineering efforts, Keselowski and the No. 2 team recorded three wins and three poles while racking up 13 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. The team earned a spot in the NCS Playoffs for the sixth consecutive season and advanced to the Round 12 before finishing eighth in the standings. With the opportunity to work with another champion driver in Logano in 2020, Pope and the team hope to build on their recent success as they compete in the No. 22 Ford,
Racing has been central to Pope's life from the very beginning. His father began racing late models at Concord (N.C.) Motor Speedway when he was just one-month old. Since then Pope traveled with his family to race tracks around the country.
He spent six seasons (1999-2004) driving late models before turning his attention to racecar engineering. Pope admits there was no plan to attend college but that changed after his mother threated to cease the family racing operation unless he enrolled in school. He chose the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) where he earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering as he continued to work on his father’s race cars.
Pope got his big break when he joined Darrell Waltrip Motorsports where he did paint and body work for the team. He also expanded his skill set to include shock specialist and tire specialist duties. Pope then moved to Michael Waltrip Racing where he served in various engineering capacities for the next 11 seasons, highlighted by Martin Truex Jr.’s victory at Sonoma Raceway in 2013.
Pope and his wife, Cassi, reside in Mount Pleasant, N.C., with their children Caitlyn and Blaze. The family also consists of two dogs – Ringo and Cassie, and two cats – Alice and Moon Pie. In addition to spending time with family, Pope enjoys the outdoors and target shooting when he is away from the track. He also raises chickens and tends to a family garden.