Wally Brown makes his debut as the No. 99 Office Depot crew chief" CONCORD, N.C. (April 18, 2006) - Although Wally Brown has been involved in racing almost his entire life, this will be the first weekend he sits atop the pit box and calls the...
Wally Brown makes his debut as the No. 99 Office Depot crew chief"
CONCORD, N.C. (April 18, 2006) - Although Wally Brown has been involved in racing almost his entire life, this will be the first weekend he sits atop the pit box and calls the race for Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Office Depot crew. Brown is set to follow in the footsteps of Bob Osborne, who has led the No. 99 team since 2004. When Jack Roush moved Osborne to the No. 26, this left a vacancy on the No. 99 team. Roush looked to Brown, who has been the head engineer at Roush Racing since 2004 to fill the void.
Brown joined Roush Racing in 2002 as the team engineer for the No. 6 car, piloted by Mark Martin. During Brown's tenure as Martin's team engineer, he helped led the team to one victory, 17 top fives, and more than 30 top-10 finishes. Brown remained with the No. 6 team until 2004, when the position of head engineer became available. Ironically, it was Osborne who had left to become crew chief for the No. 99 team.
While overseeing the engineering department, Brown helped Roush Racing secure a NEXTEL Cup Championship in 2004. In 2005, Brown was a part of Roush's "Five for Five in 2005," which landed all five Roush cars in the "Chase for the Championship."
Brown, a racer himself, started a relationship over 10 years ago with the driver of the No. 99 Office Depot car, Edwards. "We go way back; Carl and I have known each other for a long time," said Brown. "While we were both at Schrader Racing, Carl and I roomed together a bunch of times. I remember the first time Schrader came in and said that we had to take care of his second cousin--never did I think I would be working with him again at this level."
"Wally Brown is an unbelievable guy who's a brilliant engineer," said Edwards. "I actually met Wally at Kenny Schrader Racing about 10 years ago when I was working there for the summer, and Wally got his first job as an engineer. We roomed together and we were buddies. I'm sure when they said that Carl Edwards was going to drive the 99 car, everybody thought Jack was out of his mind. Wally, I think, is far more qualified to be a crew chief on our car than I was a driver. Wally has worked really hard for this, and he's definitely smart enough."
Brown takes the helm of a team who currently finds themselves in the 22nd position in the point standings, but only 183 points out of the coveted 10th place. Look for Edwards and Brown to make their first start together this weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway. Phoenix holds a lot of "firsts" for the Office Depot team. Phoenix International Raceway is where Edwards ran his first pavement race in 2001, and ironically, the same track Brown will make his first foray as a Nextel Cup crew chief.
"I am excited to get to Phoenix this weekend, it is a track that Carl enjoys running and a track he has had a lot of success at. My one goal is to not slow these guys down; Bob ran a great program over here. I know we are all looking forward to a Saturday night race in Phoenix," said Brown.