STATESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 12, 1999) Darrell Waltrip's new crew chief will be owner Travis Carter. Travis Carter, co-owner of Haas/Carter Motorsports with Carl Haas, has taken over crew chief responsibilities for the Route 66/Big Kmart Chevrolets...
STATESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 12, 1999) Darrell Waltrip's new crew chief will be owner Travis Carter. Travis Carter, co-owner of Haas/Carter Motorsports with Carl Haas, has taken over crew chief responsibilities for the Route 66/Big Kmart Chevrolets driven by three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip for the remainder of the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Philippe Lopez, crew chief since May, will remain with the team, which has been troubled of late by failing to qualify for three of the last four races, including Monday's UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In all, Waltrip has missed five of 29 races and has taken provisional starting positions eight times in 24 races. His best start has been 10th at Sears Point Raceway and his best finish, 12th at Sears Point and Martinsville Speedway in the spring.
"I want to get more involved," said Carter, who has earned two championships, 31 career victories and 41 pole positions as a crew chief. "I need to help get to the bottom of why we are having so much trouble. I know we have the equipment and resources to be successful. I want to pay closer attention and get a better handle on what's going on and see if we can qualify for these races."
Carter, 49, began his NASCAR career full-time in 1971 on a team owned by L.G. DeWitt. He was named crew chief in 1973 and immediately backed Benny Parsons to the NASCAR Winston Cup championship.
In 1976, Carter moved to Penske racing with driver Bobby Allison. In 1978, he was hired by Junior Johnson to help Cale Yarborough win an unprecedented third consecutive NASCAR Winston Cup title -- a feat that has never been duplicated.
Carter remained with Johnson and Yarborough in 1979 and scored four more victories on the way to fourth in the final standings. In 1980, the trio combined for a phenomenal campaign. They earned 14 pole positions (another record that still stands), won six races and scored 19 top-5 finishes in 31 starts. In the end, they lost the NASCAR Winston Cup title by only 19 points.
In 1981, Carter joined Mach 1 Motorsports and lured Harry Gant to drive its cars, an association that lasted eight productive years.
Carter first became a car owner in 1990. Today, his teams field the Team Winston No Bull Ford Tauruses driven by Jimmy Spencer and the No. 66 Taurus driven by Waltrip.