Jimmy Elledge returns as Crew Chief to Schneider Electric Racing Team.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 1, 2002) -- As the Schneider Electric Racing Team heads to Richmond International Raceway this weekend, they will welcome back Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge to lead the No. 55 team. Elledge returns after logging one top-10 finish in his brief stint at Robert Yates Racing and the No. 88 team.
"Working at Andy Petree Racing was a great situation from day one, but sometimes the grass is greener on the other side," Elledge said in the shop on his first day back. "I think there were a lot of things here that were really good. But there were a lot of things I questioned here, that by being away I was able to answer.
"The bottom line is you have to be happy at the end of the day," Elledge continued. "I feel wanted here. These guys are big supporters of me. When you feel wanted by the people around you, it makes you feel good."
While driver Bobby Hamilton looks forward to working with Elledge again, he also appreciates all of the hard work and effort put in by former Crew Chief Charley Pressley.
"Being a car owner myself I understand where Andy (Petree) is coming from," Hamilton said. "But then again I had complete confidence in Charley and think he is a really smart crew chief. Charley and I are tight and I wish the best for him. But because of the relationship I have already established with Jimmy, I know I'm in good hands.
"The bottom line here is that we want better results than what we've had so far. It's not like we've found a cure to our every problem, but we're just taking some steps to help it out. This time last year, we were running up front all the time. But then again, last year we had two teams and more information to go off of. Andy is just trying to bring back the stability in our team and get our program rolling again."
The change comes as the team returns to one of Hamilton's favorite tracks, the .750-mile oval at Richmond. Since 1991 Hamilton has logged eight top-10 finishes and 10 top-15 finishes at the track. Hamilton discusses this weekend's race.
Why is Richmond one of your favorite tracks?
I love that place. I've almost won that race a handful of times, but never won it for one reason or another. It's about the only race track we go to that is very versatile. You can run two and three wide around that place. So it lends itself to good racing.
What do you think about night racing? Is it a better way to race?
You know we don't really see it as night racing because we have the lights. But it helps a lot of things. Tire wear is not as bad because the heat is down. It's cooler to us in the cars because we don't have this sunshine glaring on us through the cars. You know, come to think of it, we should race like that more often. You don't have to worry about the heat and getting really worn down out there so you become more alert to your surroundings.