Ingle has title hopes at RPM

Ingle has title hopes at RPM By Shawn A. Akers NASCAR Online MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 18, 1998) Bill Ingle says he's back home, and he's ready to complete the task he once started at Rudd Performance Motorsports. Ingle, who resigned his ...

Ingle has title hopes at RPM By Shawn A. Akers NASCAR Online

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 18, 1998)

Bill Ingle says he's back home, and he's ready to complete the task he once started at Rudd Performance Motorsports.

Ingle, who resigned his position as crew chief for the No. 8 Circuit City Chevrolet team owned by Bill and Joseph Stavola on Jan. 25, has returned to RPM as the team manager for Ricky Rudd's team, which fields No. 10 Tide Fords, effective earlier this week.

"This is home for me, and now I'm back here to finish the job of helping to bring a championship to RPM," said Ingle, who was the crew chief for the No. 10 Tide Ford in 1994 and '95.

"When I was here before, we had a great team, a great group of guys to work with. We sat on poles and we won races, but we didn't win a championship. Now we're back together, and hopefully we can take this team to that level and become a consistent winner."

Ingle's brief tenure as crew chief for the No. 8 Circuit City Chevrolet officially ended Monday after the Stavola Brothers' entry failed to make the field for last Sunday's Daytona 500. Ingle had tendered his resignation January 25, but informed Billy Stavola that he would stay around through Speedweeks 1998 and the Daytona 500 to help the team out.

Ironically, it was while he was at Daytona that Ingle got the call from Rudd, and the two worked out a deal when both came back from Florida.

"We didn't mention my resignation from the Stavola team to anyone, not even the members of the team, because we didn't want it to hamper our performance," Ingle said. "Billy even flew down and tried to convince me to stay. But I can tell when I'm in the right situation, and I didn't want it to get to the point where I was miserable (at Stavola's) and was making people miserable.

"Ricky called me the Saturday night before the 500 and asked me if I was under contract, and if I might want to look into coming back (to RPM). It's kinda funny because I told him I was serving out my resignation. We had a meeting when we got back to town, we did a deal, and here we are. I'm thrilled to be back at RPM."

Ingle's new duties at RPM will be to oversee all car building, ordering, setups and engineering.

The No. 10 Tide Ford team has gotten off to a rocky start this season after a rough second half of the year last year. Even with two victories, the team fell to 17th in the standings last season. Rudd then finished 42nd in a 43-car field on Sunday at Daytona after ignition problems hurt him on lap 117.

"The biggest thing that Ricky wanted me to know is that, up front, there's no pressure," Ingle said. "We know that we can't turn this thing around in one day. If we tried, we'd all get burned out. We want to take every piece of this team and make it better. Hopefully we can get things turned around at least by midseason, and then go on to have a very successful year."

Rudd won one race in both 1994 and '95 while Ingle was the crew chief. Ingle left the team after the 1995 season to go to Gary Bechtel's Diamond Ridge Motorsports team, where he said that he was supposed to be given the opportunity to drive either a NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division or a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry.

Ingle raced in only three NASCAR Busch Series races at Diamond Ridge during the nearly two years he was there, prompting him to take the job with the Stavola Brothers.

"Basically the only reason I left Ricky in the first place was that I thought I was going to get the chance to pursue my driving career," Ingle said. "That was the whole deal of me going there. They even purchased a truck, but I never got to take one lap in it.

"Ever since I left here, things haven't been well with me, and Ricky told me that ever since I left, things really haven't been well with him. There's a cohesion between a lot of guys in this sport - Ray Evernham and Jeff Gordon; Todd Parrott and Dale Jarrett - those combinations just work, and our combination works pretty good, too.

"Ricky's a tough person to work for, and I'm a tough person to work with. But it just goes to show you, I put the same kind of stuff underneath other drivers and things just didn't work out. They do with me and Ricky."

Ingle started the 1997 season as crew chief on the No. 29 Diamond Ridge Chevrolet team. He was there for 14 races before moving over to the Stavola Brothers team. Ingle previously worked as crew chief for Michael Waltrip (1990-92), then with Rudd. At Diamond Ridge, he worked with Steve Grissom, Greg Sacks, Butch Leitzinger, Chad Little, Robert Pressley and Jeff Green in 1996 and '97.

Courtesy of NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Butch Leitzinger , Jeff Green , Robert Pressley , Chad Little , Ray Evernham , Greg Sacks