BORLAND, CARTER AND HYDER NAMED NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES CREWS CHIEFS AT MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING
CORNELIUS, N.C. (December 8, 2006) -- Michael Waltrip Racing announced today that Matt Borland, Larry Carter and David Hyder have been named crew chiefs of the organization for the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season.
Borland has been designated as crew chief of the No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry with former champion Dale Jarrett. Carter will reside as crew chief of the No. 00 Toyota Camry co-sponsored by BURGER KING and DOMINO'S PIZZA with driver David Reutimann. Michael Waltrip has assigned Hyder as crew chief of his No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry.
"We are pleased to announce our crew chiefs today," Waltrip said. "We concentrated on pairing personalities to find the perfect qualified individuals for each position. Matt is a proven winner and we're proud to have him steering the No. 44 UPS Toyota team. I've known David for a while and look forward to him leading the NAPA team. I love his enthusiasm and the way he thinks. Obviously, Larry was vitally important in building our teams and I know he will be instrumental in building David Reutimann's future while driving his Toyota co-sponsored by BURGER KING and DOMINO'S PIZZA. We are fortunate to have all three of them under one roof."
Borland led Ryan Newman to 12 wins, 37 poles, 54 top-fives, 83 top-10s in 186 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series starts. The 35-year-old joined Penske Racing South in November 1999 originally as an engineer. In 2001, Borland was then instrumental in his driver's success as he participated in a combination schedule in the ARCA, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Borland looked on as Newman amassed eight poles, two wins, five top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes.
In Borland's first full-time season in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series as a crew chief, he claimed one win, six pole awards, 14 top-five and 22 top-10s. Borland, also received trophies from winning The Winston and his driver clinched the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title and finished sixth in the championship standings. After years of success with Penske Racing South, Borland makes the move to Michael Waltrip Racing.
"I'm looking forward to making a new home at Michael Waltrip Racing and working with Dale Jarrett," Borland said. "Dale is a champion and he has a ton of respect in the garage. He's obviously proven himself as a driver. Also, Toyota will be great to work with. I think Toyota is one of the most technologically advanced manufacturers."
"There are a lot of smart, innovative individuals in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and I am thrilled that Michael Waltrip Racing was able to secure one of the best in Matt Borland," Jarrett said. "He's obviously had a lot of success in the few years he's been in this position. I think Christmas came a little early for Michael Waltrip Racing and myself. This announcement just adds to my excitement about 2007. I think he'll truly be a valuable asset to this #44 UPS Toyota team and will complement Michael Waltrip Racing as a whole."
"Dale expressed his ideal crew chief was someone like Matt Borland," Waltrip added. "We were actually able to deliver Matt Borland. Matt's spirit and determination will permeate throughout our shop."
Carter aligned with Michael Waltrip Racing after a successful stint as Rusty Wallace's crew chief at Penske Racing South. Joining Penske in 2004, Carter led Wallace to his 55th career victory in April of that year at Martinsville Speedway, snapping a 105-race winless streak for Wallace. It was only his 10th race with Wallace, whose last NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win was in 2001 at California Speedway. Carter has been an integral part of Michael Waltrip Racing's growth.
"We've set some realistic goals and assembled a solid team," Carter said. "David Reutimann is very talented and we're going to have a lot of fun working with him. He's been fast at all the tests and I think he'll do well next year. Fortunately, we were able to run five races last season with Bill Elliott to help prepare us for 2007."
"I've known of Larry for years, but I've just recently got to know him," Reutimann said. "I'm real happy to have him in my corner. I needed a veteran crew chief to help me through everything I will experience as a rookie. We get along great and I know we will have success together."
"David's plate will be full this year and Larry's extensive experience and knowledge of the sport will help David in his first year as a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competitor," Waltrip added. He will be able to help David's rookie season run smoothly."
Hyder brings a different aspect to Michael Waltrip Racing with having nearly 20 years of experience as a Late Model driver with close to 100 victories. In 1999, he stopped driving and building his own cars and joined Petty Enterprises as a mechanic. Almost three years later, he became a car chief for the Petty's in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. At the end of the 2004 season, he transitioned from being a car chief at Petty Enterprises to becoming a crew chief at BAM Racing with driver Ken Schrader. In 2006, Hyder was named crew chief of the No. 21 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series entry at Wood Brothers. Midseason, the High Point-N.C. native returned to BAM Racing. Waltrip approached Hyder not long after.
"Michael has the same mentality as other drivers I've worked with," Hyder said. "Michael approached me at the end of the 2006 season and asked me what I was going to do the next season. He gauged my interest in being his crew chief. I got really excited about everything he has planned for his race team and I accepted."
"David was someone that I was interested in from the beginning because he speaks my language," Waltrip said. "He's someone that has built and raced cars his whole life. He has a respect and knowledge for engineering, which coupled with Borland's engineering background, we hope to continue our creation of a strong team atmosphere."