Whisnant announces partnership with NASCAR crew chief Hamlin.

MADISON, Ill. -- Reid and Mark Whisnant, owners of the RW Performance Pro Stock team, are pleased to announce a partnership on a second team car with NASCAR Crew Chief Kevin Hamlin.

"My Dad (Reid) and I are very pleased to announce our partnership with Kevin (Hamlin)," said Whisnant. "He will join our team as a partner on a second RW Performance Chevrolet. Obviously, because of the demands of his NASCAR schedule, he will not be able to attend many races, but he will have an active role in all aspects concerning the team.

"If everything goes according to plans, we hope to debut the second car as soon as Indy, but right now we're in no hurry.

"We are currently negotiating with a couple different companies who we hope will sponsor our cars. When the ink is dry on the contracts, we will announce the sponsor and driver."

Hamlin, former Crew Chief for the late Dale Earnhardt, is currently the Crew Chief on the Richard Childress Racing Number 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet Monte Carlo, driven by Robbie Gordon.

"Since I was a kid, I have always loved drag racing. I have always followed the sport, but when I met the Whisnants two years ago, I really got interested in Pro Stock racing.

"Since then Mark and I have become pretty good friends. My schedule is pretty tight, but a couple times this winter I was able to go down to Commerce Dragway when they were testing. After that, I was hooked.

"When Mark and Reid started talking about adding a second car, I expressed an interest in getting involved, that is when this all came together. As much as I would like to go to all the races, my job prevents me from doing that for now. However, someday I will retire from NASCAR, and when that happens I would like to do this full time.

Hamlin is taking advantage of a rare weekend off to attend this weekend's Sears Craftsman Nationals in St. Louis, Mo. Hamlin is looking forward to leaving the tuning responsibilities to someone else, and will serve as a crewman on the RW Performance Chevrolet Cavalier.

"It has been a long time since I have been able to get dirty and turn some wrenches. These Pro Stock cars are a lot different from what I am used to. I'm sure these guys will be able to teach me a thing or two, and it helps me look at my Cingular Wireless Chevrolet in a whole different way.

"I am looking forward to having some fun this weekend, learning some new things, and seeing how the other half lives."