Childress, Howard join forces

Childress, Howard join forces

Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced Monday during the NASCAR Media Tour that it has partnered with Howard Motorsports to field a Daytona Prototype in a partial season of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. The No. 2 Childress-Howard ...

Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced Monday during the NASCAR Media Tour that it has partnered with Howard Motorsports to field a Daytona Prototype in a partial season of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. The No. 2 Childress-Howard Motorsports Pontiac Crawford effort will be led by sportscar racing veteran Andy Wallace.

Richard Childress.
Photo by John Dunagan - Fastlines.
"I've been involved in motorsports for over 45 years, and have been very fortunate to enjoy many highlights," said Rick Howard, President of Howard Motorsports. "But, the formation of Childress-Howard Motorsports could be the brightest highlight.”

The Crawford DP03 chassis made its debut at the 2004 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, which included an entry for NASCAR stars Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well as Wallace. The No. 2 Howard-Boss machine built a healthy lead in the race until suffering suspension failure with less than 40 minutes remaining, in a bitter blow to the trio, who nearly had the race sewn up. But the team went onto win twice that season and picked up another four victories in 2005.

The 2006 season brought disappointment but ended on a high with Wallace and Butch Leitzinger landing on the podium in the final two races of the year. Last season, Howard Motorsports only entered select rounds, electing to concentrate on chassis developments for the future.

“We have enjoyed success in the Rolex Series since our first race in 2004, but this association with Richard (Childress) will take this team to a new level,” Howard continued. “I know that Jim France has a passion for the Grand-Am Rolex Series, and hopefully Childress-Howard Motorsports can increase the exposure for the series and encourage new owners and teams to be involved. We look forward to a relationship with a marketing partner and developing this championship caliber team."

RCR, which fields NASCAR Cup Chevrolets for Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer, is one of the series’ most successful teams, having earned nearly 180 wins and 11 NASCAR championships. Much of the team’s success has been credited to the legendary late Dale Earnhardt.

Andy Wallace.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
Wallace is no stranger to Howard Motorsports or Crawford, having been the organizations’ development and lead driver since 2004. The Englishman spent the last season driving for Dyson Racing in the American Le Mans Series but will turn his primary focus back to the Rolex Series in 2008.

"This is an exciting announcement with the formation of Childress-Howard Motorsports," commented Wallace. "I've been with Howard Motorsports since their start in 2004, and have been fortunate to contribute to the development of this team and the Crawford chassis. It will be exciting to get back to racing and continue what we have started. The Grand-Am Rolex Series continues to get more and more competitive, and to succeed, you need to go up a gear in every direction. With Childress-Howard Motorsports, this is a perfect opportunity to push our program forward."

While the Childress-Howard Motorsports Pontiac Crawford won’t be in this weekend’s Rolex 24, Wallace will still be taking part in the twice-around-the-clock classic. He is entered in Alex Job Racing’s No. 23 Porsche Crawford, alongside co-drivers Bill Auberlen, Joey Hand and Patrick Long. It is one of two Crawfords slated to start the race.

Childress-Howard has yet to name Wallace’s co-driver or the exact schedule the car will run this year. But given Howard’s past success with the backing of one of NASCAR’s top teams, expectations are high.

"The formation of Childress-Howard Motorsports is tremendous news for Crawford Race Cars and our Daytona Prototype Crawford chassis," said Max Crawford, president of Crawford Race Cars. "Crawford has been an ardent support of the Grand-Am Rolex Series, and this association is a wonderful opportunity to continue that support. I am so happy for my long-time friend, Rick Howard, and his partnership with Richard Childress. Both men have outstanding integrity and their prominence in racing is evident by the depth of their organizations. Rick Howard had tremendous success with Howard Motorsports in Grand-Am with the Crawford DP03 chassis, and I feel this partnership will put Crawford Race Cars back in victory lane."

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Series GRANDAM