Ford team by team updates

Following is a team-by-team breakdown of personnel or noteworthy changes for 2001. 2 RUSTY WALLACE Rusty and Robin Pemberton will begin their seventh year together as driver and crew chief, but there have been some changes in the pit ...

Following is a team-by-team breakdown of personnel or noteworthy changes for 2001.

Rusty and Robin Pemberton will begin their seventh year together as driver and crew chief, but there have been some changes in the pit crew...Earl Barban will move from his jackman position to the spotter's stand while Rob Jones jumps from tire carrier to jackman ...Mike Goins and Keith Mansch have been added as newcomers and will carry tires.

Pfizer is on board as Martin's primary sponsor in 2001, taking over that role from Valvoline which moved to the 10 car of Johnny Benson...the 6 team had a number of different pit crew combinations the final few weeks of the season and have settled on four relatively new faces...Mark Full (front tire carrier), Scott Geerts (front tire changer comes over from the 16), Bobby Sada (rear tire carrier) and Scott Radel (jackman) will all be part of the regular crew this season.

After buying the team from Jim Mattei midway through last year, owner Jim Smith decided to change from Chevrolet to Ford...Wallace drove for Smith in the NCT Series the past two years and won 4 races, including the first truck race at Daytona last also hired Tim Brewer as crew chief.

Bodine got some good news just before speedweeks when he announced that Red Cell Batteries had jumped on board as a co-sponsor with Ralphs Supermarkets...that's not the only good news for Bodine, who will be running Yates engines this year...ran motors from Ernie Elliott last season, but that deal was not renewed with Elliott's move to Dodge.

The 12 team has primarily remained intact during the off-season...the only major change was team manager Marty Gaunt, who moved to a different position within the Penske organization...his duties have been assumed by Jeffrey Baker, a tire specialist and veteran of the team.

Fresh off his rookie of they year campaign, Kenseth enters 2001 with his team intact from last season...about the only major change for Kenseth during the winter months was that he and his fiancé Katie were married...the DeWalt Tools Taurus will have four different paint schemes in 2001 to highlight its biggest tool launch ever.

Motorcraft returns to the series after a lengthy absence and has joined with the Wood Brothers to be primary has made a number of changes from last year, including the hiring of Pat Tryson from the former No. 16 Ford that was driven by Kevin Lepage...Tryson served as crew chief for Sadler in the final race of 2000, but they only got 18 laps completed that day before the engine blew...

Jimmy Spencer and Donnie Wingo will be starting their sixth year together as driver and crew chief for Travis Carter...there have been no major personnel changes with this team that finished 22nd in points last season and has a career best effort of 14th in 1998.

After a fifth-place finish in the point standings last season, Rudd and crew chief Michael McSwain will set their sights even higher in 2001...the main reason for their optimism is the fact that they didn't have any team members leave during the off-season.

Craven was tabbed as the replacement for Scott Pruett in early owner Cal Wells also announced the hiring of Mike Beam, who will serve as Craven's crew chief...Beam worked briefly for Galaxy Motorsports after serving a majority of 2000 as crew chief for Elliott Sadler and the Wood Brothers...Scott Houston, who served as interim crew chief the final two months of the season, has gone back to his regular role as project coordinator for PPIM's engineering department.

Todd Bodine will take over for Darrell Waltrip, who retired at the end of last year to take a spot in the FOX broadcast booth...this will be Bodine's first full-time opportunity in NWC since 1998 when he was tabbed as the first driver for the Tabasco team...after 7 races with that team he left and has been successful in Busch, where he has finished fourth in points each of the last two years...Larry Carter is back for his second year as crew chief.

The biggest change for the 77 team over the off-season was the decision to join forces with Penske Engines for 2001...the alliance was announced before Speedweeks and will allow Pressley to run the same power as Rusty Wallace, Jeremy Mayfield and Ryan personnel change was the hiring of new shock specialist Scott Munksgard, who will travel with the team each weekend ...only other difference will be the change in car color from blue to yellow.

Like his teammate Ricky Rudd, Jarrett will have nothing but familiar faces to look at this season as the 88 team kept all of its key change on the pit crew is the addition of Rick Colson as catch can man...Garth Finley, who has worked with Penske Racing in the past, has also been hired as team engineer.

Hut Stricklin returns to the No. 90 Hills Brothers Coffee Taurus after driving in seven races for the team in also hired Bobby King away from Grubb Motorsports in the Busch Series to serve as crew chief...Speedweeks will officially mark the 52nd year in NASCAR for car owner Junie Donlavey.

Andy Houston competed in five races last season, so he will retain his rookie status in 2001...Houston has a new crew chief to work with this season as program manager Joe Garone takes on those added responsibilities...Andy's father, Tommy, holds the NASCAR Busch Series record for most starts with 417.

Like Houston, Busch drove in seven NWC races in 2000 but retained his rookie status for 2001...crew chief Jeff Hammond has left the team in favor of a broadcasting role with FOX...Matt Chambers, Busch's crew chief in the NCT Series, will take over that enters Speedweeks still looking for a primary sponsor after John Deere decided not to renew its contract following the 2000 season.

Citgo SUPERGARD will begin its first full season as primary sponsor of the 99 car after joining the team at Charlotte in October...Burton got his new sponsor to victory lane at Phoenix with his fourth win of 2000...coming into this season there have been only a couple of changes, both of which are on pit road...Chip Goode comes over from the 16 team to takeover as rear tire carrier while Chris Farrell assumes the spotting duties.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Todd Bodine , Jimmy Spencer , Kevin Lepage , Andy Houston , Ryan Newman , Hut Stricklin , Scott Pruett , Johnny Benson , Tim Brewer , Elliott Sadler , Chris Farrell
Teams Team Penske