SABCO to go with just two teams in '99 MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 30, 1998) NASCAR Winston Cup Series team owner Felix Sabates Monday announced his No. 46 operation would close, ending Team SABCO's two-year experiment running three teams in...
SABCO to go with just two teams in '99
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 30, 1998) NASCAR Winston Cup Series team owner Felix Sabates Monday announced his No. 46 operation would close, ending Team SABCO's two-year experiment running three teams in NASCAR's premier division. Team SABCO will return to a two-car NASCAR Winston Cup operation in 1999, fielding Chevrolet Monte Carlos for Sterling Marlin and Joe Nemechek. The No. 46 Chevrolet had been sponsored by First Union and The Money Store. However, the financial institution opted to refocus its involvement in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The car was driven at the end of the season by Jeff Green, after Wally Dallenbach started the year, only to be released after nine races. Morgan Shepherd drove the car at three events, but failed to qualify for two of them. Green assumed the seat at the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond in June. In a scenario similar to those at Stavola Brothers Racing and Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Sabates said his third team could return, given the right circumstances. "If in the next few weeks a sponsor shows interest in SABCO, we'll investigate further into the possibility of bringing the 46 team back," Sabates said. "At this time, we've chosen to concentrate our efforts on a two-car operation and focus on returning to a top-notch Winston Cup organization." Running three teams showed very little obvious benefit for Team SABCO. The 1998 season was a struggle from the start for the No. 46 Chevrolet, regardless of who was behind the wheel. Dallenbach started out the season as the driver, making the show four times in the first nine races. He finished 38th at Las Vegas, 39th at Atlanta, 19th at Texas and 26th at Talladega. Shepherd filled in for Dallenbach on two separate occasions, and he made the field at both Bristol Motor Speedway and California Speedway. Both times Shepherd piloted the First Union Chevrolet to a 24th-place finish, despite starting 12th at Bristol and 10th at California. The team missed seven of the season's first 12 races, before Green made the starting grid at Richmond Race 14. Sabates' two other teams will remain intact. Nemechek extended his contract to drive the No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet through 2001, while two-time Daytona 500 winner Marlin returns to the No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet for the next two years. "Sterling had been pretty consistent all year and had it not been for some bad luck at Atlanta (in March) and Martinsville (in the fall), we'd have finished the season in the top-10," Sabates said. "Joe's team had their ups and downs, and we're working at getting them more competitive on the race track. If we can keep the momentum moving in the right direction, Team SABCO will be on the stage in New York (at the series' year-end awards banquet) next year." Marlin had only six top-10 finishes, while Nemechek had one top-five and four top-10s.
Source: NASCAR Online