HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 13, 1999) Jasper Motorsports announced Saturday that Ryan Pemberton will take over as crew chief for the No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford and driver Robert Pressley. Pemberton, who is currently crew chief on MB2 Motorsports' No....
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 13, 1999) Jasper Motorsports announced Saturday that Ryan Pemberton will take over as crew chief for the No. 77 Jasper Engines Ford and driver Robert Pressley. Pemberton, who is currently crew chief on MB2 Motorsports' No. 36 Pontiac team with Jerry Nadeau, will move to the Jasper team after this season.
Pemberton has been the subject of numerous rumors for the last several weeks, since it was announced that crew chief Sammy Johns will accompany driver Ken Schrader in his move from Andy Petree Motorsports to the MB2 team.
In fact, it was something of a surprise that Pemberton landed with the 77 team, which has struggled in recent years. However, he welcomes the challenge.
"I had several opportunities to do a lot of different things," Pemberton said. "The Jasper team has a lot of things that I was looking for in a team. They're young, aggressive, they're serious about racing, they're serious about technology and they've got the ability to do a lot of things as far as making race cars better and faster. That's what excites me about racing, is the technology of the future.
"Based on that, and the great facility and the ownership that they have over there, everything that I have there is what I was looking for in a race team. I believe that the future is bright for that race team. That's what it took to lean me toward making that decision. It wasn't hard to do.
"I felt like it took a long time, but it really wasn't. We just started talking just over a week ago, and it's done now. So I'm excited about the future."
In addition to the challenges inherent in switching teams and switching makes, Pemberton will also have to adjust to a new model. Ford teams will be racing a new edition of the Taurus in 2000.
"A big part of the excitement is that Ford is coming out with a new car," Pemberton said. "And I've always enjoyed the people at Ford. Being on an even playing field with the rest of the Ford teams next year, 'cause everybody's got a new body, I think that's a great opportunity. It's a great time to switch race teams and look forward to the future."
"We're excited," team owner Doug Bawel said. "Our sponsors are excited, our team is excited and Robert is excited. Ryan Pemberton is a proven winner on the Winston Cup circuit. His track record speaks for itself with two outside poles, two top-5s, 31 top-10s and six pole positiions to his credit. We couldn't be happier."
Pressley echoed his boss' enthusiasm.
"This year we have struggled, no doubt," Pressley said. "It hasn't been a fair year to our team, so we can't wait to get started with Ryan, coming in here as a proven winner. This Jasper Engines team is capable of so much more than we have been able to show this year. With this addition, our performance from this point on will go a long way towards proving our potential."
Pemberton comes to the No. 77 team after three years with MB2 Motorsports. His only experience as a NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief has been with the No. 36 team, which he joined in its inaugural season of 1997.
Pressley is currently 39th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series standings. His best finish of the year was a 14th-place in the February at Rockingham.