Brewer signs as Ultra's Cup crew chief
By Dave Rodman
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 22, 2000) Former NASCAR Winston Cup champion crew chief Tim Brewer will return to that role in 2001 with Ultra Motorsports and driver Mike Wallace, team owner Jim Smith announced Friday.
Brewer, 45, who has worked in a research and development position for Ultra for the past two years, has already assumed his position with the NationsRent Ford team. The job became available when former crew chief Bobby Kennedy resigned last week to take a position with Michael Waltrip Motorsports in order to spend more time with his family.
The graduate of the "Junior Johnson University" of stock car racing has two NASCAR Winston Cup championships on his resume, in 1978 and 1981, and also narrowly missed two others, in 1980 and 1992. He is in the elite company of crew chiefs who have twice won four consecutive NWCS races, in 1981 with driver Darrell Waltrip and 1992 with Bill Elliott. The 1981 skein was an incredible four-for-four with every win coming from the pole position.
"If you're gonna go to war you need a few war veterans," Smith said of his potent tandem. "I have known Tim for many years and he has been working in R&D for me at Ultra on the truck side for the past two years, overseeing different avenues for me. It's like he's been sitting on the bench waiting for a decision where I wanted to go he wanted to get back in Winston Cup racing so I said 'Let's go do it.' I'm real happy with the group we've got."
"Naturally you're enthusiastic about coming back and doing it after you've been sitting on the sidelines," Brewer said from the Ultra shop on Friday. "Mike and I have run a couple races together -- we went to Japan in one of Jim's cars and set on the pole and then led 117 laps and had the engine fail."
Brewer referred to the one-time NASCAR Winston West season finale that was held at Twin Ring Motegi in Motegi City, Japan. Wallace won the Bud Pole Award that season in the NASCAR Winston West Series despite running a limited number of races.
"Mike is very focused on what he has tried to do," Brewer said. "He's won in every division he's every competed in and he hasn't been as successful as he'd like to be in Winston Cup. "We've got an opportunity to come full circle and try to be a contender in a series -- to be a winner.
"Then again, we're realistic enough to know the team has to grow -- but we're committed to sticking it out and working together to make it a successful effort."
Brewer said he felt the organization, which currently has veteran mechanic Buddy "Red Dog" Barnes -- who ironically was a member of Rusty Wallace's 1989 NWCS championship team -- listed as car chief, has an opportunity to achieve great things this season.
"I would hope to think so," Brewer said of his team. "We've had a lot of success with a lot of people in racing -- the name Wallace is pretty well known for that. Mike is no stranger to any capacity of racing -- he truly wants to be in the Winston Cup division.
"Jim Smith has always wanted to be a Winston Cup team owner and through his business endeavors he can do it the right way. Mike and I figured to come back with somebody who is financially sound enough to do it, and with NationsRent sponsorship it's a good time to go round the block again." -nascar.com-