Orleans Racing Taps Top Crew Chief For Cup Effort

February 8, 2000 (Las Vegas, Nev.) - Orleans Racing today announces that Andy Graves will work with the team for a one-race effort in the March 5th CarsDirect.com 400 Winston Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Graves currently works for...

February 8, 2000 (Las Vegas, Nev.) - Orleans Racing today announces that Andy Graves will work with the team for a one-race effort in the March 5th CarsDirect.com 400 Winston Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Graves currently works for Chip Ganassi's CART team. He joined Ganassi Racing in December 1999 from Hendrick Motorsports, where he was crew chief for Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte for the final two years of his ten-year career with Hendrick.

Bill McAnally, president, Orleans Racing, said "We decided to enter the Winston Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to provide additional exposure for our sponsors, NAPA/Martin Senour, beyond the NASCAR Truck and Winston West schedule that we've planned, and to leverage Brendan Gaughan's experience on his home track."

"We're looking forward to the Cup event, but we also fully understand the enormity of the task," McAnally continued. "It wasn't that long ago that Winston West regulars like me were up against the Cup teams trying to qualify for a starting position in Cup/West combination events. Andy's technical skills and his familiarity with the Winston Cup officials and procedures will be of great help to us in this effort."

Graves commented "I'm looking forward to working with Bill, Brendan and the entire team. When they asked me to help them set up the car and try to qualify for the Cup race at Vegas, I saw an opportunity to work with a team that has proven itself to be championship caliber and ready to test itself at the Cup level. Working with Orleans Racing also gives me a chance to stay in the NASCAR loop. The Ganassi team is great, but it will be fun working with the NASCAR folks for the weekend."

Driver Brendan Gaughan has logged numerous laps at LVMS through testing and competition and through his involvement in the popular fan-oriented "Richard Petty Driving Experience" stock car school.

He commented "Having a proven Winston Cup crew chief like Andy working with us will help a ton. Andy knows the inspectors, he knows the procedures, and he'll be invaluable in helping us get ready for the event."

Gaughan continued, "This is a huge opportunity for us. We think we stand a good chance of qualifying at Vegas. Assuming we qualify, the next step, completing the race, will require a lot of work and team effort. I have every respect for the Winston Cup regulars and, at the end of the day, I'd like to have them feel that I'm competitive, but safe to race with."

Orleans Racing owns and operates the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts/Martin Senour Automotive Finishes/NAPA Filters/NAPA Belts & Hoses/Orleans Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR Winston West Series and the No. 62 Craftsman Truck Series teams, operated under the direction of team co-owner Bill McAnally. In addition to winning the 1999 NASCAR Winston West championship, McAnally's team led the series in the Gatorade Front Runner Award and the Clevite Engine Builder Award races, laps completed and best average finish. Results from the 1999 Winston West season included two wins, five top fives and ten top ten finishes and two Bud Pole Awards.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Terry Labonte , Richard Petty , Brendan Gaughan , Chip Ganassi
Teams Hendrick Motorsports