Notes from Charlotte Tour 99-01-12

Buckshot's Campbell undergoes surgery By Shawn A. Akers CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 12, 1999) Some notes and quotes from the second day of the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by UAW-GM Motorsports: Kenneth Campbell, crew...

Buckshot's Campbell undergoes surgery By Shawn A. Akers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 12, 1999) Some notes and quotes from the second day of the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by UAW-GM Motorsports:

Kenneth Campbell, crew chief for Buckshot Racing's No. 00 Cheez-It Crackers Pontiac NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division entry, with driver Larry Pearson, was hospitalized late last week with a mysterious illness and remained in the hospital Tuesday following surgery to remove lymph nodes.

Team owner Billy Jones' voice cracked with emotion as he made the announcement to a group of media members gathered at Buckshot Racing Tuesday morning. Jones said he hopes to have Campbell back in the shop and working as soon as possible, but it won't be known when that can happen until tests are done on the lymph nodes.

"Kenneth is in the hospital ... and we're just hoping he's going to be OK," Jones said. "Last week, Kenneth went to the hospital and he thought he had the flu, and his blood count should have been about 12 to 15 and it was about four. They've been able to get it back up to about six as we stand here today.

"Right now, Kenneth is undergoing an operation, and I hope each and every one of you when you go home tonight say a little prayer for Kenneth because he's a big part of this team and will be for years to come. We're just sorry that he's not here today."

Campbell was hired as the team's crew chief late last year when an announcement was made at Charlotte Motor Speedway that Pearson would drive the car in 199. Campbell was then in the midst of a stint in the same position with the No. 37 Timber Wolf team.

There are still a few NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams out there that are searching for primary sponsorship for the 1999 season. Buckshot Racing is one of them, although Aqua Fresh and the Keebler Company are solid associate sponsors.

Other teams still in the hunt for primary sponsorship are the SB III Motorsports team, with driver Ricky Craven; the No. 91 LJ Racing team, with driver Steve Grissom; the No. 98 Cale Yarborough Motorsports team, with driver Rick Mast; and the Tyler Jet Motorsports team, with driver Rich Bickle.

Donnie Allison is getting back into the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, but this time, only as a "coach." Allison, who had 10 victories and 17 Bud Poles in 239 career starts, will be a consultant for the new SB III Motorsports team, which begins its first year of competition in 1999.

Allison, along with his brother, Bobby, is a senior member of the "Alabama Gang." He will apply his knowledge in driving, business and race car management in hopes of building a strong foundation for a successful team.

Since he climbed out of the driver's seat, Allison has worked with the likes of Joe Nemechek, Bobby Hamilton, nephew Davey Allison and Hut Stricklin in attempt to help further those drivers' careers.

Jimmy Spencer was at no loss for words about new teammate Darrell Waltrip on Monday. Waltrip, who was hired to drive the No. 66 Ford as a second team for Travis Carter beginning in 1999, said the addition of Waltrip to the organization will be a huge lift for both teams.

"I'm glad Darrell Waltrip is my teammate because of his experience and because of the amount of wins he has," Spencer said. "We tested the other week and Darrell Waltrip has already helped Jimmy Spencer on short tracks and road courses. One the other side, I think I can help him on the superspeedways.

"I think a lot of (Waltrip's problems) is about confidence. You take Jeff Gordon and put him in another situation and he won't win the championship. We all know Darrell can win races and when Darrell gets the confidence level in the team that Jimmy Spencer has in Team Winston, then you'll see a totally different Darrell Waltrip."

Elliott Sadler said he knows he'll have to take a different approach to racing this year during his rookie season in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The driver of the Wood Brothers' No. 21 Citgo Ford said he'll have to adjust his diet, for one, to help him gain more stamina to run longer races than he did the past couple of seasons in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division.

"The two biggest differences will be getting the car ready for qualifying on Fridays or whatever day and going from 300 miles to 500 miles. I gotta quit eating ravioli and peanut butter and maybe eat some apples and oranges."

Ron Thiel, a former driver on the Busch North Series, a part of NASCAR's Touring Division, has been named crew chief for the No. 6 Power Team Chevrolet, driven by Joe Bessey in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division. Thiel, 33, is a former shop foreman for Buz Mccall's American Equipment Racing team.

The No. 6 Chevrolet team went without a crew chief during the latter part of the 1998 season after Harold Holley departed for Progressive Motorsports.

Source: NASCAR Online

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Darrell Waltrip , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Ricky Craven , Rick Mast , Steve Grissom , Donnie Allison , Elliott Sadler , Cale Yarborough , Davey Allison