MOORESVILLE, NC - Akins Motorsports team owners Doug Stringer and Brad Akins announced today that Tim Shutt, 34, has been named as crew chief of the No. 38 Great Clips team, effective immediately. The team's previous crew chief, Wes Ward, has accepted a position with ppc Racing.

"We are very excited to have Tim on board at Akins Motorsports and anticipate much success this season as he brings new and innovative ideas to the table," said Stringer. "We had an extremely successful relationship with Wes and I respect his desire to pursue this opportunity with ppc Racing.

"Kasey Kahne and this entire Great Clips team are proven winners, so we are confident that Tim will step right in and continue where we left off in 2003, and that was in victory lane."

Prior to joining Akins Motorsports, Shutt was employed by Joe Gibbs Racing as crew chief for Mike Bliss and Mike McLaughlin. He began racing go-karts at an early age in his home state of Pennsylvania, and through the years worked in the United States Auto Club (USAC) as both crew chief and driver on midget and sprint cars. In 1996, he began working in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series with driver Randy Tolsma and joined Joe Gibbs Racing in 1999.

"I am so excited about this opportunity with Akins Motorsports," said Shutt. "It's been remarkable how everything has worked out, and I know this is going to be a really good relationship.

"Kasey has so much focus and the quality of guys on this team is unrivaled. Kasey is a methodical thinker and is able to interpret different situations in different ways, and I think that will fit perfectly with my style of working. We've got similar backgrounds as far as racing in different series, so I'm confident that we'll hit the ground running."

"I'm thrilled that Tim has joined our Great Clips team," said Kahne. "His background is similar to mine because he's worked with sprints and midgets, plus, he's raced before, so he's got that understanding of what it feels like to get behind the wheel. His experience will be key in helping us move to the next level, which will be grabbing more Bud poles and winning more races."

Kahne finished the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series season seventh in points with one victory (Homestead-Miami Speedway), one Bud Pole (Michigan International Speedway), four top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. He will compete in the NASCAR Busch Series in the No. 38 Great Clips Dodge as well as the Nextel Cup Series in the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge.

For more information on Akins Motorsports, please visit www.akinsmotorsports. For additional information on the team's primary sponsor, Great Clips, visit www.greatclips.com.

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