EXPERIENCED CREW CHIEF CHRIS CARRIER JOINS PENSKE RACING TO LEAD NO. 77 SPRINT CUP TEAM
MOORESVILLE, NC (December 21, 2007) -- Penske Racing is turning to an experienced crew chief to help lead the new No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge team in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Chris Carrier, a veteran of more than 30 years in racing who has been a winning crew chief in NASCAR's top three levels of competition, will join Penske Racing in 2008. The 47-year-old native of Bristol, TN will serve as crew chief for the No. 77 car, working closely with driver Sam Hornish Jr. as the former Indianapolis 500 and IndyCar Series Champion makes a full-time transition to stock car racing in 2008.
"I'm very excited about joining the team at Penske Racing," said Carrier, who's been crew chief at Morgan-McClure Motorsports directing the team's NASCAR Cup and Busch Series programs for the last several years and has worked with such established drivers as Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant, Bobby Allison, Ken Schrader, Elliot Sadler and Mike Skinner. "I know there's a lot of good, talented people at Penske Racing and I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone and I plan to take full advantage of their resources and knowledge while also giving as much as I can back to the team. I've been fortunate to work with a number of great drivers through the years and I think that experience will help as we work with Sam to reach his goals in NASCAR."
Carrier will join the Mooresville, NC-based Penske Racing team in the new year and will work with David Elenz, who's been named race engineer for the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge.
"It's going to be great working with Chris and David because they have so much experience at this level of racing," said Hornish Jr., who announced in November that he would join Penske Racing's NASCAR program full-time, driving the team's third entry in the Sprint Cup Series in 2008. "As I complete the transition to Cup racing, it's great to have such a veteran support staff to rely on."
Growing up in the shadows of Bristol Motor Speedway, Carrier got an early start to his career in motorsports. He started helping the local racing team owned by Ed Whitaker at the age of 14 and first served as a crew chief when he was just 18-years-old, winning his first race. He directed Whitaker Racing's winning Busch Series team for several seasons and eventually joined Andy Petree Racing in 1998 as crew chief in the Busch and Cup Series programs. Carrier earned his first win as a Cup crew chief with Andy Petree Racing and driver Joe Nemecheck at Rockingham's North Carolina Speedway in November of 2001. In addition to his 20-plus career victories as a crew chief in Busch Series competition, Carrier also helped produce a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory with driver Tony Stewart and the Petree team at Richmond in 2003.
"We want to welcome Chris and all of his years of racing experience to the team," said Michael Nelson, Penske Racing Vice President of Operations. "Chris and David will be a great combination on the 77 car team as we look for a strong first full season with Sam competing in the Sprint Cup Series."
Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced 295 major race wins. 350 poles and 21 National Championships. The team will field three entries in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Kurt Busch, the No. 12 Alltel Dodge with Ryan Newman at the wheel and the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge driven by Sam Hornish Jr.