Baldwin Jr. named as crew chief for Davis team HIGH POINT, N.C. (Sept. 15, 1998) Tom Baldwin Jr. has been named the crew chief for the No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Pontiac team, with driver Ward Burton, and will direct the team in this weekend's...
Baldwin Jr. named as crew chief for Davis team
HIGH POINT, N.C. (Sept. 15, 1998) Tom Baldwin Jr. has been named the crew chief for the No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Pontiac team, with driver Ward Burton, and will direct the team in this weekend's MBNA Gold 400 at Dover Downs International Speedway. The 32-year-old Baldwin, who has served for the past 15 months in the same capacity for Junie Donlavey Racing, replaces Chris Hussey, who served as crew chief for the No. 22 team since 1994. Hussey will be reassigned at Bill Davis Racing.
Under Baldwin's direction, the No. 90 Junie Donlavey team and driver Dick Trickle posted a season-best start (third) and finish (sixth) in the PRIMESTAR 500 at Atlanta in March and is currently ranked 29th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings entering this weekend's race at Dover. Prior to joining the No. 90 team, Baldwin worked at Hendrick Motorsports under Ray Evernham's tutelage, as a chassis specialist for the No. 41 Hedrick Motorsports team, and was then named the crew chief for the No. 20 Ranier/Walsh team and driver Greg Sacks in early 1997.
"Early in the 1997 season (former Bill Davis Racing team member and current NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division driver), Elton Sawyer called me after driving the No. 20 car and said it was the best driving Winston Cup car he'd ever been in," Davis said. "He said that Tommy was someone we needed to keep our eye on for the future, and that he had everything it takes to be a front-line crew chief in the Winston Cup Series.
"After some incredible seasons as a modified crew chief, he made the choice to move down here and has learned a lot about these cars and what it takes to go fast in the Winston Cup Series in a real short period of time. We think he'll be a great addition to our team."
Before moving to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Baldwin was one of the most successful young crew chiefs on the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour, first with his father, Tom Baldwin, and then with tour standouts Mike Ewanitsko, Jeff Fuller and Steve Park. Baldwin directed Fuller to a third-place finish in the 1995 NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour point standings, winning six of 21 races as well as taking series honors for winning the most pole positions and leading the most laps.
In 1996, Baldwin and Park dominated the Modified competition, winning seven races and a series-record 10 pole positions en route to their three-point loss for the championship to Tony Hirschman, the closest margin in the 50-year history of the division.
"I had a great experience with Junie and Dick Trickle, but when the opportunity came up to work with a team like Bill Davis and a driver like Ward Burton, who I believe can win a lot of races, it made my decision a little easier to move at this point in the season," Baldwin said. "A lot of the elements that it takes to win races and challenge for a championship are already in place at Bill Davis Racing.
"I think I can move them forward toward those kinds of goals. With the addition this season of the Amoco program and Dave Blaney (in the NASCAR Busch Series), this organization has also moved in the direction it needs to with a second team and the benefits that brings. I'm excited about the future."
Baldwin is a native of Bellport, N.Y., is single, and has one son, Tommy III. His father, Tom Baldwin Sr., is one of NASCAR's most respected Modified drivers and a veteran of the legendary New England short-track battles.
Source: NASCAR Online