BUSCH: Atkins Motorsports 2005 plans announced

Akins, Sherman To Run Full Busch Season With Crew Chief Lambert HOMESTEAD, FL . - Driver Brent Sherman and Akins Motorsports announced today that they will enter the No. 58 Serta Mattress/Hickory Farms Dodge for the full 2005 NASCAR Busch...

Akins, Sherman To Run Full Busch Season With Crew Chief Lambert

HOMESTEAD, FL . - Driver Brent Sherman and Akins Motorsports announced today that they will enter the No. 58 Serta Mattress/Hickory Farms Dodge for the full 2005 NASCAR Busch Series season making Sherman a Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year contender.

In addition they have hired veteran crew chief Tony Lambert to lead the first-year team. Lambert has worked with the likes of Cale Yarborough, Davey Allison, Phil Parsons and Tim Richmond. Perhaps his most notable accomplishment came in the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series where he recorded six wins in just 14 starts with driver Mark Martin.

"I'm really looking forward to working with Brent Sherman and Akins motorsports," said Lambert. "It's going to be a team effort working with Paul Andrews (crew chief for the No.38) and the whole organization.

"I have met with Brent and team owner Doug Stringer and I think we're going to have great chemistry. They run a great program at Akins and I'm really looking forward to being a part of that."

Stringer, who added Lambert to Akins' roster last week is optimistic about the collaboration between Sherman and Lambert.

"Tony brings a lot of depth and experience to this team which will help give Brent something to draw from," said Stringer. "It will also help us focus more on performance and to incorporate new technology to also help advance the No. 38 team."

Sherman will make his third career start in the NASCAR Busch Series this Saturday in the Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After finishing second in ARCA points this season, Sherman also entered and qualified the Akin's entry at Kansas City and Memphis.

"I'm thankful that Akins has given me the opportunity to run a full schedule next season," said Sherman. "It's great that we can compete for rookie-of-the-year with someone of Lambert's caliber as crew chief. I'm excited to be working with someone who has as much experience as he does. It should help balance out my lack of experience."

Sherman and Lambert will work together for the first time this Saturday. Although Sherman has never competed at the 1.5-mile high-banked oval, he does hold the track record on the road course where he raced the Lolo Srp2 prototype car.

"I have not tested at Homestead, so we're looking forward to gaining some valuable knowledge during practice and happy hour," said Sherman. "Hopefully we'll get the Serta Mattress/Hickory Farms Dodge dialed in and get a great finish.

"Then we'll gear up for 2005."

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Series NASCAR-NS