Connor steps down as No. 2 crew chief

Connor Steps Down as Crew Chief For The Team ASE/Carquest Dodge MOORESVILLE, NC- (June 28, 2004) -Three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship winning crew chief Dennis Connor has relinquished his role as the crew chief of the No. 2...

Connor Steps Down as Crew Chief For The Team ASE/Carquest Dodge

MOORESVILLE, NC- (June 28, 2004) -Three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship winning crew chief Dennis Connor has relinquished his role as the crew chief of the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge. Connor is a proven winner in NASCAR competition and has successfully guided the fortunes of several drivers during his career. The Sylva, NC native mentored Jack Sprague to three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championships (1997, 1999 and 2001), two runner-up points finishes (1996 & 1998), 25 victories and 23 pole positions. Connor proved his considerable skills once again in his very first outing with Ultra Motorsports and the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge in 2003, winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race with driver Jason Leffler at Dover in late May. Connor backed that win up with another at New Hampshire with driver Jimmy Spencer.

"Dennis Connor is a class act," said Ron Weiner, President of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). "We have a lot of respect for him as a crew chief and as a great individual. We truly appreciate his contributions to our race team and to our organization. He stepped in last season and elevated our performance immediately. He put Jason Leffler in Victory Lane in his first race with us and we look forward to seeing Dennis back in Victory Lane very soon. Dennis is one of the best ever in making calls during an event."

"Dennis Connor is a terrific guy," said Jim Smith, owner of Ultra Motorsports. "We have been privileged to work with a crew chief of his stature and we hate to lose a three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion. Racing is a difficult sport and today is one of those difficult days. I want to thank Dennis for all his hard work and everything he did for this team."

In 2003 Connor captured a unique NASCAR 'hat trick" by winning three poles with three different Ultra Motorsports drivers - Leffler (Michigan), Spencer (New Hampshire) and Andy Houston (Texas). The 2004 campaign has seen its share of bad luck including getting swept up in multi-truck crashes, untimely caution flags and mechanical woes.

"In all my time in racing I have found that situations either work out or they don't," said Connor. "The 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season has not gone as any of us would have preferred. As a result Jim Smith and I have reached a very amicable and mutual agreement to part ways at this time. I look forward to finding an opportunity that provides me with a chance to have a positive impact with a competitive race team. I am sure that type of opportunity is just around the corner."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Jason Leffler , Jimmy Spencer , Andy Houston , Jack Sprague , Jim Smith