Moore leaves Jasper Motorsports By Marty Smith MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 18, 1999) Jasper Motorsports has named Bob Gulbranson as interim crew chief for the No. 77 Ford. Newt Moore, crew chief of the No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford, resigned ...
Moore leaves Jasper Motorsports By Marty Smith
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 18, 1999) Jasper Motorsports has named Bob Gulbranson as interim crew chief for the No. 77 Ford. Newt Moore, crew chief of the No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford, resigned from his post Monday after just 19 races with the team. "I really don't want to sound negative in this whole deal," said an unhappy but relieved Moore from his home Tuesday. "If you go back and look and how many crew chiefs have been at that place, you'll see that they only stay around for about 20 races. I was at 19. I wish I would've researched it before I left Kenny Wallace (and the No. 55 Square D team). We were running really good, but the people on the 77 were very persistent, and encouraged me that we'd have a good car."
Moore was adamant that the Jasper Motorsports team has top-15 caliber talent, but that the ownership refuses to take the necessary risks in order to get there.
"There were a lot of things we needed to do that the ownership wouldn't let us do," said Moore, who stressed the fact that he left the team on good terms. "They have a mandate on RPM's and even sway bars sometimes. I had my hands tied in so many areas.
"Look at California. We were only allowed to use a 56-gear at California when everybody else had at least a 64-gear. (Jasper) makes engines and that's what they're trying to sell, so if they blow up engines they feel it hurts their business. Last year we could ride around in 20th- or 21st-place and everyone was fine with that, but this year everyone stepped up so much that we needed to take chances just to be on the lead lap at the end of the race. We couldn't take those chances."
Bob Gulbranson, Jasper Motorsports shop foreman and former crew chief of Hermie Sadler's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division ride, has been named as interim crew chief. The team also announced that Charley Pressley, brother of driver Robert Pressley and former crew chief of the No. 4 Kodak Chevrolet, will stay with the team as an advisor.
"You gotta be able to lay your head down at night and be able to rest," Moore said. "This isn't a job, it's a lifestyle. And it gets very aggravating sometimes when the crew chief is the scapegoat for everything. I initiated this. They didn't even know I was going to do it. I didn't even give them notice, I just walked and told them. We just had a lack of competitiveness that we could've and should've had. Robert is a great driver and the crew is great too.
"I was basically just unhappy. It's not the shop, they have a perfect shop. They ran the business at budget level, but once we got the track my hands were tied. When the car owner get on (the radio) and says you can't run a certain gear and all the guys are looking at you for answers, it's just a tough thing. If the oil temperature got up to 220 degrees they freaked out. (Gulbranson) will have the same problem until they change the scenario.
"It's not going to be what they told me it would be until the change their motor program. They're all very motor-oriented, but they wouldn't do what it took to get there with those motors."
Moore sounds bitter, but in actuality he stressed the fact that he didn't want to shed any negative light on Jasper Motorsports, and simply wished to tell the truth. He plans to weigh several options -- both from the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and the NASCAR Busch Series -- over the next few days before making a final decision on which way his career will go.
"I've talked to some Busch teams and a few Cup teams," he said. "I actually just interviewed a minute ago. I will probably make my decision by Monday or Tuesday, and it will be an improvement from where I am. I told myself when I walked out that door that I wouldn't go to a team under 20th in points. I don't know where I'm going, but I just want to be somewhere where they have a top-20 mentality and a chance to win races."
Source: NASCAR Online