MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- The ...
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- The #77 Jasper Motorsports team has added six new team members for the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, including four crew members who will augment the team's existing pit-stop unit for it's over-the-wall efforts in support of driver Dave Blaney.
The new members of the #77 Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford team include Pat Marshall, the new Foreman of the team's Fabrication operations and a recent employee of Hendrick Motorsports in its aerodynamic engineering department; Josh Watkins, an recent engineering graduate of UNC-Charlotte and the team's fifth engineer; Aaron Piernatt, an addition to the team's finish-fabrication area in-shop and a former tire-carrier for the #97 Roush Racing Team; the tire changer/carrier combination of Clay Robinson (body shop) and Mike Houston (suspension) and jackman Greg Pasi, all from the #40 Ganassi Racing Team's pit-stop lineup during the 2002 WC season.
The four new additions to the #77 Jasper Ford pit-stop crew join returning tire changer Rich Macco--who will work with Piernatt--and veteran gasman Dennis Cabe in a revised lineup that deepens the team's roster of over-the-wall athletes.
"As we moved toward the close of last season, we looked as all teams do at what we might do to strengthen our program for the coming season, and we feel we've addressed two areas with the addition of (Crew Chief) Bootie Barker last month and the addition of these talented guys to our in-shop and race-day roster," said Mark Harrah, Co-Owner and Team Manager for Jasper Motorsports.
"We've moved strongly in the direction of improving the depth of our engineering department, which has been headed by Manny Daskalos for the past few years. Bootie's engineering background, plus the experience of (Car Chief) Kevin Kidd--an engineering graduate from Virginia Tech in 2001--and the addition of Josh Watkins really gives us a wide range of possibilities in that area.
"Pat Marshall returns to Jasper Motorsports after several years with other teams, and we're thrilled to have him back in the role he's going to assume. Pat's approach fits perfectly with what we're trying to do with our race-cars and where we're hoping to take the team in 2003 and beyond.
"The addition of the four over-the-wall guys provides us with a deeper roster of options for our pit-stop lineup, which was pretty good last season as it was. With the inclusion of Clay Robinson, Mike Houston and Greg Pasi from one of the best pit crews in the sport, we feel we're making the positive moves we need to help Dave and the Jasper team continue the substantial progress we made in Dave's first season with us. I can't wait to get to Daytona."
Blaney and the #77 Jasper Engines & Transmissions Ford team finished the 2002 Winston Cup season ranked 19th in the final owner and driver standings, both rankings career-bests for each, as was Blaney's 2002 season-earnings total ($2,978,593).
Barker, 31, who joined Jasper Motorsports in November after serving two seasons as crew chief for the #23 Bill Davis Racing team and driver Scott Wimmer in the NASCAR Busch Series, is a former chassis/shock specialist for the #24 Hendrick Motorsports team for four-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon (1999-2000) and for the #22 Bill Davis Racing team and driver Ward Burton (1998-99). Barker guided Wimmer to four NASCAR Busch Series victories in the final eight races of 2002 and finishes of 11th and third, respectively, in the NBS standings (2001-2002) with limited sponsorship support.