HARRISBURG, N.C. (Sept. 29, 1999) Brian Whitesell, left, has been with the No. 24 team since its debut at Atlanta in 1992. Brian Whitesell is set to fill perhaps the biggest work shoes in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series garage area. The crew ...
HARRISBURG, N.C. (Sept. 29, 1999) Brian Whitesell, left, has been with the No. 24 team since its debut at Atlanta in 1992. Brian Whitesell is set to fill perhaps the biggest work shoes in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series garage area. The crew chief he is replacing, Ray Evernham, has helped driver Jeff Gordon capture three series championships in the last four years and 47 wins overall. "This is just a fantastic opportunity," Whitesell said. "I'm looking forward to doing the job the best way I know how. Working with Ray has helped me understand the dynamics involved between driver, crew chief and our spotter on race days. Jeff Gordon and I have always communicated very well, also, and that's extremely important. The emphasis on teamwork will remain at the center of all we do and achieve. And I'm just real excited about getting started."
Since coming to Hendrick Motorsports in 1992, Whitesell has literally worked side-by-side with Evernham. A 35-year-old native of Stuarts Draft, Va., Whitesell has been with the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet team since its NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the fall of 1992. During that race -- and for every one of the 215 that followed -- Whitesell was positioned atop the pit box alongside Evernham.
Beginning his career at Hendrick Motorsports as driver of the No. 24 DuPont transporter, Whitesell also immersed himself in race day timing and scoring duties. After serving in a myriad of capacities with the team, Whitesell was named its Team Engineer, a newly created position in 1994. Prior to being named Gordon's new crew chief, he was in charge of a staff of five Hendrick engineers.
Perhaps more than any other Rainbow Warrior, Whitesell has had the most contact with Evernham and Gordon on race days, something that should also be invaluable as he assumes crew chief responsibilities. In recent years, one of Whitesell's primary responsibilities was to gather information from each track (and each lap run) and then share that with both Evernham and Gordon. A detailed report was generated for each track and then archived at the shop for future reference.
Whitesell, who graduated from Virginia Tech ('87) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, played an integral part in establishing the No. 24 team's blueprint for success. In 1997, the talented technician garnered Western Auto's "Mechanic of the Year" award, recognizing his contributions to the overall success of the team.
Source: NASCAR Online