Barrett, Heritage join Donlavey for Las Vegas 400 RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 23, 1999) Veteran NASCAR Winston Cup Series team owner Junie Donlavey said Tuesday he had "two cars ready to go to the paint room," to celebrate the hiring of Raybestos...
Barrett, Heritage join Donlavey for Las Vegas 400
RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 23, 1999) Veteran NASCAR Winston Cup Series team owner Junie Donlavey said Tuesday he had "two cars ready to go to the paint room," to celebrate the hiring of Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Stanton Barrett to drive his No. 90 Ford Taurus in the March 7 Las Vegas 400, with Heritage Consumer Products as its sponsor.
Donlavey, who is beginning his 50th year as an owner on the circuit, will field a Ford Taurus for Barrett in the 400-mile race at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The deal is for the single race at this point, but could evolve into a future collaboration.
The 26-year-old Barrett will be following in the footsteps of his father, movie stuntman Stan Barrett, in the Donlavey car. Stan Barrett, the former world land speed record holder and the original "Skoal Bandit" driver, drove in four races for Donlavey in 1989.
"When you look at some of the really big names who have driven for Junie over the years, it's almost awe-inspiring," Stanton Barrett said. "He has a history of working so well with younger drivers. His record has been pretty good with younger drivers, too.
"For me, it's a chance to work with one of the sport's icons. Anybody I asked told me the same thing, 'Give it a try with Junie and you'll be happy.' That included drivers he has had, including my dad, and other car owners, officials at NASCAR and everybody else I could find to talk to. When I stacked up all of that on top of what I had seen myself, I knew it was a good decision."
Barrett and Heritage Consumer Products will be with Donlavey for the Las Vegas race but have not closed the door on working together afterwards. Barrett had formed a team with two North Carolina businessmen, PBH Motorsports, but after attempting to qualify for the Daytona 500 Barrett had said the team's next race might not be until the Texas Motor Speedway round at the end of March. A possible deal with Donlavey would delay it even more.
"I'm a racer and I want to drive every race I can," Barrett said. "Everything I've done my whole life has been to set myself up to where I could race NASCAR. We started the season thinking I could run 16 races with my own team, and now maybe there are some ways to add some more races to that schedule. We'll see how things go but, right now, I'm pretty excited about the possibilities."
Donlavey has worked with such drivers in the past as David Pearson, Buck Baker, Bobby Isaac, Joe Weatherly, Benny Parsons, Charley Glotzbach, Ernie Irvan, Buddy Baker, Harry Gant, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Tiny Lund, Jody Ridley, Bill Dennis, Dick Brooks and Dick Trickle.
On the track, Barrett has found a great deal of success himself. Of his 10 starts in NASCAR's Busch Series Grand National Division last season, Barrett qualified in the top-20 seven times and recorded three top-15 finishes, including an eighth-place finish at Bristol, Tenn. Barrett's other top-15 finishes were last season at Daytona and Las Vegas -- showing his versatility. He nailed a fourth-place starting position at Nazareth, Pa., in May, qualifying the car started by Kevin Lepage; and started ninth in the race at Nashville, Tenn., again at two very differently styled raced tracks.
His record should not be surprising. Barrett has a history of speed and is no stranger to danger. His professional status has reached into the realms of extreme skiing and motocross racing, and he has developed a career as a well-known Hollywood stuntman. The native of Bishop, Calif., has worked in such feature films as Batman, Free Jack, Mars Attacks and Last Of The Mohicans, and in such well-known television series as Beverly Hills 90210 and Baywatch.
Barrett used his acting career to further his career in motorsports. He would spend days on movie sets and evenings working the telephones. While filming Batman, Barrett would be on the set every evening by 6 p.m., work until six the next morning, then return home to work the telephones until early afternoon. After a few hours of sleep, he would return to the movie set.
"I like the stunt work but I've been doing it to set myself up for racing," Barrett said. "This has been the only way to get what I wanted. I knew nobody was going to hand anything to me. If I was going to get it, I was going to have to work hard for it, so that's what I did. I've spent a lot of time learning all aspects of the sport, including marketing and licensing and public relations, in addition to what I've been learning as a driver.
"I've done it because this has been my dream. I've been willing to do whatever it takes to get here."
Barrett began his career in motorsports by racing motorcycles at the age of nine. He worked as an intern for legendary Richard Childress at the age of 17 and Childress was so impressed with the young man's work ethic he fielded a Sportsman car for him at Bowman-Gray Stadium, NASCAR Winston Racing Series facility in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Barrett has also raced in the Goody's Dash Series, a part of the NASCAR Touring Division; as well as the ARCA Bondo/Mar-Hyde Series; the IMSA sports car circuit; and in Pro Shifter karts. He has also tested a Dayton Indy Lights Series car.
Source: NASCAR Online