Elledge a great fit for new APR team By Shawn A. Akers
HAMPTON, Ga. (Nov. 8, 1998) For the past couple NASCAR Online of weeks, Kenny Wallace has had to share his new crew chief, Jimmy Elledge,with Roush Racing. Following the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, Wallace will have Elledge all to himself.
A crew member for Mark Martin's No. 6 Valvoline/Cummins Ford this season, Elledge was hired to be the crew chief of the new No. 55 Square D Chevrolet team at Andy Petree Racing, which will begin competition in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1999. Since he was hired last month, however, he's been biding his duties between both teams.
His relationship with Roush Racing will end following the NAPA 500.
"For the last four weeks, he (Elledge) has been changing Mark Martin's tires during the race," Wallace said. "He's been honoring his commitment to Mark Martin and that team. So in the pits the last couple of weeks, my own crew chief has beating me out of the pits.
"Then, all of a sudden, me and Mark Martin are running along there great at Phoenix and we're having a great race, and the caution comes out. Mark's right behind me, and he just got through changing Mark's tires. Jimmy gets on the radio and asks how the car (Wallace's car) is handling. He's down in Mark Martin's pits and he's asking how our car is handling. That's unbelievable. I'm excited that Jimmy's here with us."
Elledge and Wallace have already tested together at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Elledge said he's looking forward to getting to Daytona to test in January.
"I'm very honored to be a part of this deal," Elledge said. "I want to thank Square D and Andy Petree and Kenny Wallace for selecting me to do this. I just hope I can do a really great job for all of them. Kenny and I have already formed a pretty good working relationship and we get along great, so that's a huge part of it all right there."
Elledge previously worked at Richard Childress Racing for six years, performing various duties for the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service team. He and Petree worked together during that time, a time when Petree and driver Dale Earnhardt combined to win a pair of NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships. Petree said he has no doubts about Elledge's ability to lead the No. 55 Square D team to prominence in the upcoming years.
"This is his first stint in Winston Cup as a crew chief, but he's been a crew chief in Busch and I worked with him at Childress' for three years," Petree said of Elledge. "So I know his capabilities. We've come a long way together. It was a real good match. "He's a lot like me. I see a lot of me in him, whether that's good or bad, I don't know, but that's what we're going to have. Him and Kenny Wallace get along so good. They've got a connection there I think is going to play out for us."
Source: NASCAR Online