Melling Racing lays off some team members

Melling Racing laid off some team members on Wednesday in Concord, NC. The team is cutting back as the search for a sponsor continues after Kodiak announced earlier this year they would not return to Winston Cup racing in 2002. "We still have a...

Melling Racing laid off some team members on Wednesday in Concord, NC. The team is cutting back as the search for a sponsor continues after Kodiak announced earlier this year they would not return to Winston Cup racing in 2002.

"We still have a core group of employees working here," said Lake Speed Jr., team spokesperson. "We are not closed. Mark Melling (team owner) just wanted to give these guys the opportunity to find something else if they could."

"My greatest concern is that current Melling Racing employees have the best possible chance at landing on their feet," explained Mark Melling. "If nothing were to materialize, sponsor-wise, in the near future, the employees would be out looking for a job after all the other teams have filled their positions.

"I don't want that on my conscience. I would like to think that Melling is known as and organization and family that is fair to its employees.

"My family has owned a car in the Daytona 500 field for the past 20 years. It's going to be a heartbreaker if that string is snapped. However, we need something in place very soon to make it 21 years.

"We have so many irons in the fire regarding sponsorship right now," Speed said. "But, this just isn't a good time of year to be searching for a sponsor. Money is not coming into the sport right now."

The team finished 33rd in points in its first year with Dodge. Stacy Compton is the driver of the No. 92 Dodge. He captured the pole postion at both Talladega races this year, and had an outside pole at the Daytona 500.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Stacy Compton