Haas-Carter Motorsports adds crew chief Lopez STATESVILLE, N.C. (May 20, 1999) The recent spate of "musical chairs" among NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chiefs continued Thursday, as Carl Haas and Travis Carter, co-owners of Haas-Carter ...
Haas-Carter Motorsports adds crew chief Lopez
STATESVILLE, N.C. (May 20, 1999) The recent spate of "musical chairs" among NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chiefs continued Thursday, as Carl Haas and Travis Carter, co-owners of Haas-Carter Motorsports, announced Philippe Lopez has been named crew chief on the Big Kmart/Route 66 Ford driven by three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip. The announcement reunites Lopez -- who recently led Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s Pennzoil Chevrolet crew -- and Waltrip, who notched seven top-15 finishes during a 10-race stretch last season while Waltrip substituted for the injured Steve Park in the No. 1 car fielded by Earnhardt's team.
"So much of this sport is about chemistry," said Carter who has served as the team's interim crew chief since March. "Even though they were only together for a short period of time, Philippe and Darrell developed the type of relationship that you look for between a driver and crew chief -- and it showed in their results."
"We are extremely excited about the mechanical knowledge and leadership skills that Philippe brings to the Big Kmart/Route 66 team," Haas said. "In addition, his previous experience with Darrell will allow them to hit the ground running."
"Having just started in December, the Big Kmart team is building for the future and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to join the team," Lopez said. "Travis Carter and Carl Haas have impeccable reputations in the motorsports industry and Darrell Waltrip is a class act both on and off the race track. Personally, I had a lot of fun when I worked with Darrell last year and I'm confident we can have that same type of fun with this team."
Lopez, 36, was born in Verdun, France, and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. He worked at a local race track as a teenager and was a 3rd-year student at Texas A&M University when driver Stanley Smith hired him to direct his NASCAR All-American Challenge Series effort. Smith won his 1st race with Lopez and the series championship the next season.
Smith's team then moved to NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing, taking Lopez along to stock car racing's top division. He became a NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief in 1994, calling the shots on the AG Dillard Motorsports entry driven by Ward Burton.
He then led the Stavola Brothers' effort in 1996-97 before joining the Dale Earnhardt Inc., team for its rookie season in 1998.
Lopez and his wife, Angela, have twin infant daughters, Ashley and Sidney. They reside in Mooresville, N.C.
Source: NASCAR Online