Waltrip to drive for Carter in 1999, 2000 By Shawn A. Akers STATESVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 2, 1998) Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip has found a ride for next season and beyond. The long-time General Motors man will ...
Waltrip to drive for Carter in 1999, 2000 By Shawn A. Akers
STATESVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 2, 1998) Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip has found a ride for next season and beyond. The long-time General Motors man will drive for a second Ford team fielded by owner Travis Carter beginning in 1999, informed sources have said. The deal, which the source said puts Waltrip in the seat of Carter's car through 2000, will officially be announced on Thursday at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, the site of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Awards Banquet. Carter's second team will be sponsored by Kmart, which has committed to the team for three years. Waltrip, 51, parted ways with Tyler Jet Motorsports following the 1998 season finale at Atlanta on Nov. 8. He will be the teammate of Jimmy Spencer, who drives Carter's No. 23 Team Winston Fords. Waltrip finished 24th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings in 1998 with one top-five and two top-10 finishes. Those came at California (fifth) and Pocono (sixth), when he was filling in for the injured Steve Park in Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet. Waltrip drove 13 races for DEI in Park's absence, and has said the experience gave him renewed confidence in his driving abilities. In his final five races with that team, he never finished lower than 13th. Driving the last 14 races of the season for Tyler Jet and owner Tim Beverley, Waltrip never finished higher than 13th (at Indianapolis), and had only two top-20 finishes during that time. During the past season, Carter repeatedly expressed a desire to take on a second car in order to keep up with the other multi-car operations in the sport. Rumors have circulated for months about the venture. Despite missing two races due to injuries, Spencer finished a respectable 14th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings in 1998. The No. 23 team has had one of the top restrictor-plate programs in the sport in recent years, and posted an 8.25 average finish at Daytona and Talladega in 1998. Kmart was a primary sponsor on the No. 37 Ford owned by Michael Kranefuss and Carl Haas from 1995 to 1997, but decided not to return as a primary sponsor in 1998. John Andretti drove that car in 1995 and for 22 races in 1996. Jeremy Mayfield took over that ride for the final seven races of 1996 and for all of 1997, with RC Cola as a co-sponsor. Carter's primary team is based out of a relatively new facility in Statesville. The source said the second Carter team will also be based out of Statesville, with equipment and a race shop bought from David Blair, who hasn't fielded a competitive team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series since 1996. Blair teamed with Robert Yates to give Kenny Irwin some seat time in late 1997 to prepare Irwin for his rookie season in 1998. The source said Rick Mast was slated to take the slot as the driver of Carter's second team, but an announcement which was supposed to be made at Atlanta last month was canceled and the deal with Mast fell through. Mast is still without a ride for the 1999 season.
Source: NASCAR Online