Donlavey team close on sponsorship

RICHMOND, Va. (Dec. 15, 1998) One way or another, Junie Donlavey will have a NASCAR Winston Cup Series team at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500 in February. Anything beyond that, however, could be contingent on what happens Tuesday night. That's when Donlavey said he's supposed to get word from a potential sponsor on whether his team will have any financial support for the 1999 season. The veteran team owner wouldn't say who the potential sponsor was, only that a news conference was scheduled at his race shop Wednesday to announce the team's plans for next year. "I guess we'll find out tonight, and then tell everybody tomorrow whether we're in or out," Donlavey said Tuesday morning. "I'm pretty hopeful at this point, and I think it looks pretty good, but you hate to get yourself pumped up. "It's like a kid waiting for a toy for Christmas. When he opens his presents up and he doesn't consider it to be the toy he wanted, he becomes disappointed. I don't want that to happen, but we're thinking positive about it." A part of the NASCAR Grand National and NASCAR Winston Cup Series as a team owner since the early 1950s, Donlavey has been searching for primary sponsorship for his No. 90 Taurus team since Helig-Myers announced it would not return to the team late last season. Donlavey said he will take a team to the Daytona 500 no matter what happens. "I feel like the one thing I really want to do is run Daytona," Donlavey said. "If I said I was going to quit, to hang it up, I'm still going to run Daytona. Then they could say he had his fling, and then that's it. But I feel real good about the sponsorship. I'm hoping everything goes well with that." Donlavey said Dick Trickle, who drove Donlavey's Fords for the past two seasons, would not return as his driver. Should the sponsorship deal go through Tuesday night, Donlavey said it would be a different driver, one that hasn't participated in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series on a regular basis previously. "This sponsor has its driver in mind," Donlavey said. "It's a complicated deal, something they would like to try. It would be a full-year deal with a rookie driver. That's about all I can really say." Donlavey said he has not named a crew chief for the team as of yet. If and when the sponsorship deal is finalized, he said, he'll concentrate on that. "The team is still going full bore," Donlavey said. "We've got some good boys back there working. We've gone to a younger group, but there are still three or four veterans back there. "As far as a crew chief is concerned, in the years that we've ran, I basically was the crew chief, yet everyone on our team knew what to do. We didn't really need a crew chief per se. After everything gets straightened out, maybe I'll nominate one the boys back there to take on that responsibility."

Source: NASCAR Online