BUSCH: Hut Stricklin Sings with Akins Motorsport

Stricklin takes seat of Barbasol Ford By Dave Rodman BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 30, 1999) - NASCAR driver Hut Stricklin has gone from feast to famine in the space of a little more than a month as the Calera, Ala., veteran has been signed by team...

Stricklin takes seat of Barbasol Ford By Dave Rodman

BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 30, 1999) - NASCAR driver Hut Stricklin has gone from feast to famine in the space of a little more than a month as the Calera, Ala., veteran has been signed by team owner Brad Akins to drive his No. 38 Barbasol Fords for the remaining eight races on the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division schedule. Stricklin replaces driver Glenn Allen Jr., who failed to qualify for the seventh time in 24 races this season at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend. Stricklin's first race will be Saturday's Dura Lube 200 presented by Trak Auto at Darlington Raceway.

Akins Motorsports also runs the No. 98 Lysol Fords for driver Elton Sawyer.

"Joey Knuckles (No. 38 crew chief) and I are good friends and Doug Stringer, the team's general manager and I are pretty good friends, too," said Stricklin, who had maintained a high profile around the NASCAR circuits despite being out of the driver's seat. "We would always talk when we ran into each other at the tracks and they asked me if I would be interested in finishing the season for them.

"It sure does seem like they've got a top notch team here. Elton runs good just about everywhere they go. They've got some real good stuff as far as their cars and equipment, and their engines are from Roush."

Stricklin made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway (now Lowe's) in 1984 and continued to compete in NBS events while driving on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit. Currently, Stricklin competes in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for Scott Barbour in the No. 58 Turbine Solutions Fords.

Stricklin had basically been on the outside looking in as a driver since he was released by the Stavola Brothers Racing team midway through last season, after that team lost its primary sponsor.

Stricklin began this season as the crew chief and team manager for Triad Motorsports but that team had sponsorship difficulties and was disbanded. Stricklin has made five starts for Barbour's team, including the team's first top-10 finish, a ninth at Michigan. He has made all six of his Cup starts this season since the mid-way Pepsi 400 at Daytona, where he stood-in for LJ Racing.

Now, he's looking at keeping doubly busy while driving Barbour's and Akins' cars at what will mostly be combination races down the stretch.

"Just finishing the year out is all we're talking about right now," Stricklin said."I guess Barbasol is not coming back as their sponsor, and Brad doesn't know what he's going to do.

"I sure hope it could turn into a 10-15 race deal for me for next year, which would be a great deal for me, as far as getting some experience, and seat time that could translate into whatever I'm doing with the Winston Cup program."

One of Stricklin's two career-best NASCAR Winston Cup finishes came in the 1996 Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington while driving for the Stavolas.

"We're going to Darlington cold turkey," he said of the Busch program, "but that's probably one of the best places I could go under those circumstances.

"Darlington is one of my favorite race tracks on the whole circuit. I definitely enjoy going there, which I guess is part of the 'love it or hate it' nature of the place. If we can hit it right on the set-up we'll be able to do something there."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Hut Stricklin