Waltrip to return to No. 17 at Brickyard Shawn A. Akers TYLER, Texas (May 11, 1998) Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip will return as the driver of the No. 17 Tyler Jet Motorsports Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series...
Waltrip to return to No. 17 at Brickyard Shawn A. Akers
TYLER, Texas (May 11, 1998) Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip will return as the driver of the No. 17 Tyler Jet Motorsports Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series beginning with the Aug. 1 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway , team owner Tim Beverley said Monday.
Beverley also confirmed that Toby Porter, formerly a standout in the Slim Jim All-Pro Series, a NASCAR Touring Division, will be behind the wheel of the No. 17 Tyler
Jet Motorsports Chevrolet truck for at least one race, the June 5 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Pronto Auto Parts 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. The agreement between Waltrip and Beverley, signed last Friday, runs through the end of the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season. The team is actively searching for sponsorship for both the No. 17 car and truck.
"We're very excited about getting Darrell back to drive for us," Beverley said. "We'd have much rather been racing by now, but the reason we haven't been is from a business standpoint. We're talking to some people about sponsorship, and hopefully we can secure something very soon."
Since selling the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team to Beverley at the end of March, Waltrip has been driving the No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet, owned by Dale Earnhardt, in the absence of injured Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Steve Park. Waltrip finished fifth in the May 3 California 500 presented by NAPA at California Speedway.
"I've always had a lot of confidence that Darrell can still drive, and it was great to watch him run at California," Beverley said. "All he needed was a great car underneath him.
"We've been pointing to the Brickyard 400 because it's such a large event, and we figured it would be a great one to open with. Plus, from day one, that's when Earnhardt was hoping that Steve Park would be back in his car. So, we're really looking forward to Indy and running the rest of this year and next year."
Porter, 23, a native of Greenville, S.C., earned a solid reputation in the Slim Jim All-Pro Series, where he won four races in 1996 and finished second that season to Mike Cope in the series point standings. Porter tried his hand at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series a year ago in a Ford owned by Ranier-Walsh Racing, but the team folded after only three races.
Porter's best career finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was a ninth-place in the Chevy Trucks Desert Star Classic at Phoenix last April. He was sidelined for most of the 1997 season after he was injured in a crash prior to the series race at Portland Speedway in May.
"We just went out in the marketplace for a driver, and Toby came very highly recommended from a few people," Beverley said. "So, we've put him in there, and hopefully we can work with him."
Beverley said the team is strictly focusing on the Pronto Auto Parts 400 at Texas in June. If a sponsor can be obtained, Beverley said he'll announce plans for more races in the near future.
Source: NASCAR Online