Wlodyka moves to Liberty Racing
Lorain, Ohio (Nov. 23, 1998) Liberty Racing team owner Jim Herrick has announced the appointment of veteran mechanic Roland Wlodyka as crew chief for the No. 84 Porter-Cable Power Tools Racing team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the 1999 season. "The Porter-Cable Racing team is excited to have a person of Roland's experience and abilities join us," said Herrick of the man who was with team owner Rod Osterlund in 1979 and 1980 when seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt won NWC Rookie of the Year and championships in successive seasons in 1979-80. "He is a proven winner with a track record of success in the truck series. Roland is a veteran crew chief who knows how things should be done and how to teach others to do them well. We firmly believe that, with Roland in charge of our program, we will return to being a top-10 team in 1999." Liberty won two races and the Cintas Rookie of the Year Award in 1997 with 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year Kenny Irwin. But the team struggled with Cintas Rookie Wayne Anderson in 1998 and eventually fired him before finishing the season with a variety of drivers, including interim crew chief Doug George. Wlodyka spent the 1998 season as crew chief for driver Rick Crawford and the Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Under Wlodyka, Crawford posted his first career NCTS victory in March at the Miami-Dade Homestead Motor Sports Complex, along with four top-five finishes and five top-10s. Wlodyka, a 60-year-old native of Boston, Mass., has worked with some of NASCAR's top teams, such as Stavola Brothers Racing, Larry Hedrick Motorsports and Osterland Racing, and has tutored such drivers in addition to Earnhardt as Tim Richmond and Jimmy Spencer. During his tenure with Osterland Racing, Wlodyka hired Earnhardt, then an unproven young driver. Porter-Cable Corporation will sponsor the Liberty Racing team for a second year in 1999. The season begins on March 20 with the Homestead 400 in Homestead, Fla.
Source: NASCAR Online