Band-Aid team switching to Chevrolets By Shawn A. Akers
SHERRILLS FORD, N.C. (Dec. 14, 1998) In conjunction with Mattei Motorsports' recent announcement of that team switching from Fords to Chevrolets in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series beginning next season, Michael Waltrip Inc. will do the same with its No. 21 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division team. Beginning with the 1999 season-opening NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona International Speedway, Waltrip will drive Band-Aid Chevrolets in the NASCAR Busch Series. Waltrip is the new driver of Mattei's No. 7 Chevrolet. Mattei made the announcement last week that he would switch from Ford to General Motors for the 1999 season and beyond, despite that team's long history with Ford. Waltrip drove Fords for the Wood Brothers' No. 21 Citgo team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series from 1996 through 1998. His NASCAR Busch Series teams have also raced Fords in recent years. Band-Aid team public relations representative Doug Cox said Waltrip made the switch with his NASCAR Busch Series team because he wanted to maintain a relationship with the same manufacturer in both the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "Chevrolet and General Motors has offered us a lot of help and has made us feel a part of Team Monte Carlo," Waltrip said last week. "You certainly have to like what they accomplished last year, and looking ahead, it will be really exciting to be involved in the development on the new car when it comes out in 1999." The new Chevrolet Monte Carlo will arrive on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit spring. With Jeff Gordon as the driving force, Chevrolet won the NASCAR Winston Cup Manufacturer's Championship in 1998. Waltrip will again run a limited schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1999. He is scheduled to compete in approximately 18 NASCAR Busch Series events, most in conjunction with NASCAR Winston Cup Series events. Cox said the status of Waltrip's second team, which ran No. 14 Rhodes Furniture Fords for driver Patty Moise in 1998, is "on hold" right now, but that it is "more than likely" that Waltrip's operation would return to being a one-car team in 1999. Rhodes announced recently that it would not return for next season, putting that team in limbo. Cox said if a sponsor can be found for the No. 14 team soon, Waltrip would keep it going.
Source: NASCAR Online