Donlavey stays with Stricklin

RICHMOND, Va. (Jan. 2, 2001) Junie Donlavey is sticking with Hut Stricklin as his driver for the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Stricklin drove seven races in Donlavey's Hills Bros. Ford in 2000, recording a top finish of 14th at the...

RICHMOND, Va. (Jan. 2, 2001) Junie Donlavey is sticking with Hut Stricklin as his driver for the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season.

Stricklin drove seven races in Donlavey's Hills Bros. Ford in 2000, recording a top finish of 14th at the Brickyard 400.

"At one point last season, Hut was both our driver and our crew chief," Donlavey said in an announcement Saturday night. "If that doesn't show dedication to the cause, then I don't know what does. It is rare to find a driver these days that will put so much energy into the entire operation and not just his driving."

Guiding Donlavey's Richmond-based team from the pits in 2001 will be Bobby King, who led Tommy Ellis to the NASCAR Busch Series championship in 1981, Jimmy Hensley to a second-place finish in the Busch points chase in 1990 and Hermie Sadler to the circuit's top rookie honors in 1993. Prior to joining Donlavey Racing, King, a native of Richmond, worked at Grubb Motorsports.

"We are happy to get Bobby here with us," Donlavey said. "We have known him for several years and think he is a great addition and fit for the Hills Bros. Coffee Racing Team. He is a Richmond native, and that aspect was very important to us -- someone who is comfortable working and living in this area."

Stricklin, a journeyman for the last several years, began his full-time Winston Cup career in 1989 and finished second in the rookie-of-the-year standings to Dick Trickle. In 1990 Stricklin began a three-year stint with Bobby Allison Motorsports. After that relationship ended in 1992, Travis Carter hired Stricklin for the 1993 season. Stricklin took the driver*s seat for Kenny Bernstein's team in 1995 after Steve Kinser resigned as driver. Stricklin finished the season with one pole position, two top-five and five top-10 finishes. Since then Stricklin has driven for the Stavola Brothers from 1996-98, Triad Motorsports, SBIII, Donlavey and a variety of Busch Series teams.

In 283 Winston Cup starts, Stricklin has eight top-five finishes, 28 top-10 finishes and almost $5 million in winnings.

"I am excited about the efforts that the team has put together from the middle of this season on," Stricklin said. "Some of the things that we accomplished were very amazing under the circumstances that were presented to us.

" I had a good feeling at the end of last season that things would work out well for the team. Junie has hired several employees to help Bobby in the shop, so we will be ready to go in 2001."

King worked with Ellis from 1972-85 and then-Busch Series driver Dale Jarrett from 1986-87 before working with Beverley Motorsports and Hensley, Sadler and Phil Parsons from 1988-1995.

"I am excited about the opportunities here at Donlavey Racing, and I'm ready to begin the process of turning this team around," King said. "I was able to bring Darrell Wiggins, Johnny Cash and Charles Hammock from Grubb Motorsports to help get some of the things done that we have fallen behind on heading into next year. The guys are all working hard and are starting to get things going into the right direction." -nascar.com-

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Series NASCAR-CUP