Notes From Charlotte Tour 99-01-13

Jones looks for great year with Hornaday By Shawn A. Akers CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 13, 1999) Some notes and quotes Wednesday from the third day of the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by UAW-GM Motorsports: Fred Graves...

Jones looks for great year with Hornaday

By Shawn A. Akers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 13, 1999) Some notes and quotes Wednesday from the third day of the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by UAW-GM Motorsports:

Fred Graves will not soon be forgotten at Dale Earnhardt Inc., or the NAPA Chevrolet NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team. Graves led the NAPA team, with driver Ron Hornaday, to its second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship this past season as its crew chief, but has since moved on to Hendrick Motorsports to work with his son, Andy Graves, the crew chief of the No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

But that doesn't mean the NAPA team won't challenge again for the championship in 1999. Not if Hornaday and new crew chief Sandy Jones have anything to say about it.

Jones, the crew chief for the past couple of seasons for Elliott Sadler in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division at Diamond Ridge Motorsports, has the experience and know-how to help lead the NAPA team back to Victory Lane and perhaps the championship spotlight.

"We're really glad to have Sandy on board and we know we're going to see great things from him and this team," Hornaday said Tuesday night. "He knows how to win, and he's shown that in the Busch Series. We are going to miss Fred, but I don't think we're going to skip a beat with Sandy. He's going to help this team win another championship."

"I'm really excited about coming over here to DEI and working with Ron because it's a great opportunity to win a championship," Jones said. "There won't be too much of an adjustment to the trucks. Ron is a winner, and I'm looking forward to getting that NAPA Chevrolet to victory lane more than a few times this year."

NAPA has announced that it will sponsor a DEI-prepared Chevrolet for Hornaday in the NASCAR Busch Series NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 13.

The DEI entry will carry sponsorship from NAPA Auto Parts and will sport the familiar blue and gold paint scheme that is on Hornaday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series ride. Hornaday has never raced at Daytona, but will get his chance in February.

"I have always dreamed of racing at Daytona," Hornaday said. "I told Dale that I did not care what I raced at Daytona when I went to work for him -- horses, go-karts, bicycles -- I just wanted to one day race there. This is a dream come true."

Jones will also be the crew chief for Hornaday's NASCAR Busch Series effort in Daytona.

On Tuesday night at Dale Earnhardt Inc., it was announced that the Nabisco Corporation would be joining Dale Earnhardt Inc. as an associate sponsor on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 3 ACDelco Chevrolet. The deal for the 1998 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division champion is for the years 1999 and 2000.

Nabisco will also be an associate sponsor on the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet for Earnhardt Jr. for the five races he's competing in on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1999.

Also on Tuesday night, Dale Earnhardt proudly displayed the new 108,000-square foot DEI complex to the media. In doing so, he also announced that Realtree and Perdue Farms would be joining his No. 3 Richard Childress-owned GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet team as associate sponsors.

Realtree is the primary sponsor for the No. 71 Chevrolet of Dave Marcis in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.

Speaking of sponsorships, Philips Communications will remain as the primary sponsor of the No. 7 Mattei Motorsports Chevrolet for the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season, team sources said on Wednesday.

The team is still in negotiations with some associate sponsors, the source said, and hopes to sign them before the beginning of the season next month.

The Richard Petty Driving Experience has taken a leadership role within the community by providing sponsorship for Speedway Children's Charities, it was announced on Wednesday.

RPDE will provide sponsorship by adding a Speedway Children's Charities Pontiac to their fleet of cars to be utilized during programs at Charlotte, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Nazareth, New Hampshire, Richmond, Milwaukee and Madison, Ill. For every lap the cars runs at each location, RPDE will donate $1 to Speedway Children's Charities.

The RDPE operations department predicts the SCC Pontiac to accumulate between 8,000 and 10,000 laps during the 1999 season. The car will be adorned with the No. 99 to signify the year.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Richard Petty
Teams Hendrick Motorsports