Hewitt to join Petty Enterprises By Shawn A. Akers RANDLEMAN, N.C. (Oct. 21, 1998) Doug Hewitt, the crew chief for Bahari' Racing since 1992, will join Petty Enterprises as the crew chief of the No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac, with driver Kyle ...
Hewitt to join Petty Enterprises By Shawn A. Akers
RANDLEMAN, N.C. (Oct. 21, 1998) Doug Hewitt, the crew chief for Bahari' Racing since 1992, will join Petty Enterprises as the crew chief of the No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac, with driver Kyle Petty, following the end of the 1998 campaign, it was announced Tuesday.
Hewitt has worked with the likes of drivers Bobby Hillin, Michael Waltrip, Johnny Benson and Derrike Cope in his six years-plus with Bahari' Racing.
"We are excited to have someone of Doug's caliber on our team," said Richard Petty, owner of Petty Enterprises. "I know that he will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Petty Enterprises and help us build two teams capable of championship contention."
Bahari' Racing owner Chuck Rider said he is currently interviewing several candidates for the crew chief position for his No. 30 Gumout Pontiac and expects to make a decision on that "in another week or so."
Gumout previously announced it would only sponsor the Bahari' car until the end of the 1998 season.
"Doug and I have been together for six years, and he and I sat down and talked recently, and he just felt he needed something different," Rider said. "There's no ill feelings at all between us, and I speak very highly of Doug because he's done a great job for this team.
"In our sport, it seems that change is inevitable. We have some very good people here. You'd always like to have your people stay and for there to be some longevity, but Doug had to make his decision. He's very close to Robbie Loomis (crew chief of the No. 43 STP Pontiac), and they're going to pool their operations. I wish Doug all the best."
The No. 30 Gumout Pontiac team, with Cope behind the wheel, has turned in a disappointing season to date. Cope is currently 37th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings.
The highlight of the season came on the final day of September at Charlotte Motor Speedway, when Cope won his first career Bud Pole Award in qualifying for the UAW-GM Quality 500.
The No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac team, with crew chief Bobby Kennedy, has also had a disappointing year. Petty is 29th in the standings. The team has had only two top-10 finishes in 1998 -- an eighth-place effort at New Hampshire in July and a sixth-place run at Watkins Glen International in August.
The Petty Enterprises complex in Randleman, N.C., is being expanded to house both Petty Enterprises teams -- the No. 43 STP Pontiac and the No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac, designated the PE2 squad. The No. 44 team has worked out of a facility in Concord, N.C., the past two seasons since its birth.
Source: NASCAR Online