BUSCH: Ifft out, Ely in at Team Rensi

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 22, 2000) Team Rensi Motorsports has consolidated its NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series operations into a single location in Charlotte, N.C., team co-owners Ed and Sam Rensi...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 22, 2000) Team Rensi Motorsports has consolidated its NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series operations into a single location in Charlotte, N.C., team co-owners Ed and Sam Rensi announced Thursday. In the wake of the move, David Ifft will no longer serve as crew chief of the No. 25 Lance Snacks Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series. Grey Ely, shock specialist and former crew chief for both the Nos. 11 and 75 NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams have replaced him. Ely began his new position this week.

Rensi said the move -- which brings the No. 25 Lance Snacks team north from York, S.C., to the No. 16 Mobil Max2 truck team's location in Charlotte -- was "done to better utilize the labor pool in the Charlotte area and to take advantage of the economies of scale, and shared resources for both operations."

"This is an address change only," Rensi said. "All employees including crew chief David Ifft were invited and expected to come to work at the new location, although David Ifft hasn't decided whether he'll make the move or not.

"We're still learning with the 16 and 25 teams, and we're still growing. It's an opportunity for us to have all our resources in a single location so that we can enjoy multi-team research and development programs, multi-team personnel resources, multi-team technical resources, and the elimination of redundancy in equipment and resources.

"I want to emphasize that David Ifft helped us as a rookie team obtain credibility and to be taken seriously in its rookie season (in 1999). He taught us a lot about NASCAR competition and is a valued friend."

Ely's previous position was as the crew chief for Brett Bodine Racing, where he had been since the beginning of the 2000 campaign. Ely spent the second half of the 1999 season as crew chief for the Remington Arms team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, working under then team manager Troy Selberg, with whom he has a long-standing relationship.

Ely said he's excited about coming into the NASCAR Busch Series and is looking forward to help putting the Lance Snacks Chevrolet into Victory Lane.

"This team has had some really good runs this year," Ely said. "David Ifft assembled a good group of guys, and I'm going to enjoy working with them. These guys are hungry, and they're willing to work hard to get the job done. I'm pretty optimistic. All I'm trying to do is bring stability, experience and knowledge to the program and let everybody else bring their skills. It's a team effort.

"The opportunity to work with two good drivers of that quality (Kenny Wallace and Andy Santerre) is going to be great. I've known Andy for seven years and have a lot of respect for him. He and Kenny are good racers, and I feel like any time those two guys get in a Busch car they can win. That's what we're all here for."

"Greg's ability to work with people and work with chassis setups fits into today's crew chief title," Selberg said. "I feel the role is different from what crew chiefs have done in the past. His ability to work with people and set the vehicle up fits right into the Team Rensi concept.

"Nothing has changed with the guys who worked on the 25 group except their address. Being able to bring everything underneath one roof is going to ease the workload for everybody. Team Rensi is not a truck team or a Busch team, but it's a group of individuals working together as a team to win races. This transition, I believe, is going to be a big boost for both teams."

Ely's first racing task for the Lance team will be this Sunday's Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen International. It's the only road course race on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule, with Santerre behind the wheel of the No. 25 Chevrolet.

"I've only been with this group for a couple of days, but I'm very optimistic about this weekend," Ely said. "I've been involved in quite a few cars that have gone to Watkins Glen and run well. I think I can bring that knowledge and Andy's knowledge of the track and do well. For not being a road racer, he's pretty good at Watkins Glen. I'm looking forward to a good weekend there."

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Series NASCAR XFINITY , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Brett Bodine