Crew Chiefs Form Group

'Crew Chiefs Club' founded in Texas By Shawn A. Akers FORT WORTH, Texas (April 4, 1998) NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers aren't the only ones these days with their own little private fraternity. The series' crew chiefs have formed...

'Crew Chiefs Club' founded in Texas By Shawn A. Akers

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 4, 1998) NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers aren't the only ones these days with their own little private fraternity.

The series' crew chiefs have formed their own private little club, but it's not designed for their own selfish pleasure.

The "Crew Chief Club," with an aim at providing fans with a new way to interact with their favorite race teams, was unveiled Saturday at a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway. From signing autographs and speaking with fans at their respective manufacturer's souvenir trailers, to chatting with fans via the internet, Crew Chief Club members are trying to drum up recognition and fan support for their fellow crew members.

Present were three of the founding members of the new organization -- Jimmy Makar, Todd Parrott and Larry McReynolds. Robin Pemberton, the other founding member, could not attend due to team obligations.

"For years fans have been able to recognize drivers through the media, and they can relate quite well to them now," said Makar, crew chief for No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac driver Bobby Labonte. "The Crew Chief Club is a way for fans to get to know us on a more personal level -- similar to that of the drivers. They'll find out what we're all about and the role we play in getting our teams to win races and compete for championships."

"I'm excited to be a part of such an elite group of men," said McReynolds, crew chief for the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt. "It represents us as individuals, but it also represents the whole garage area. All of the people who work 80-90 hours each week are just as important as the drivers are."

While Makar, Pemberton, McReynolds and Parrott are the only four members of the club presently, Parrott said they're looking to expand quickly.

"The more the merrier at this point," Parrott said. "The more of us their is, the more time that we can spend with the fans and the media. Of course, our first priority is our race team. "With the four of us together right now, hopefully we'll be able to interact more with the media and the fans.

"Over the past 15 years, the sport of NASCAR has really grown. As crew crew chiefs, we've grown with the sport, too, but now we're in a position where we can push the sport to a new level by involving ourselves with the fans. It's new and it's different, and I'm proud to be a part of it."

Wheels Sports Group is pitching in on the new venture. They're offering a full line of Crew Chief Club apparel, including hats, t-shirts, sport shirts and jackets that will soon be available on the Ford and Chevrolet souvenir trailers at every NASCAR Winston Cup Series track.

The Crew Chief Club clothing will also be available in speciality race shops throughout the country.

"The Crew Chief Club is a microcosm of what NASCAR represents," said Liz Schlosser, director of licensing and consumer products for NASCAR. "Performance, realiability, leadership, teamwork and vision, the founding elements of the Crew Chief Club, are also the elements that helped build the sport of NASCAR to where it is today."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Labonte