Akins-Sutton to do two-car team in 1999 By Dave Rodman MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 22, 1998) Akins-Sutton Motorsports, whose driver Elton Sawyer has made a late-season charge into fourth position in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand...
Akins-Sutton to do two-car team in 1999 By Dave Rodman
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 22, 1998) Akins-Sutton Motorsports, whose driver Elton Sawyer has made a late-season charge into fourth position in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division point standings, will operate a two-car team in 1999 with former series Rookie of the Year Glenn Allen partnering with Sawyer in Ford Tauruses with engines supplied by Jack Roush.
Team co-owner Bob Sutton confirmed Tuesday the team's plan to run two cars beginning at the season-opening NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona International Speedway in February. He said Allen, who will finish the season driving the No. 99 Luxaire Chevrolet for J&J Racing, would drive the No. 38 Barbasol Ford in 1999 with an entirely new crew.
Sutton said Sawyer's crew, led by crew chief Eddie Pardue, would remain intact and would field Fords carrying a number that is yet to be assigned, in the colors of a sponsor that is currently finishing its final season with another NASCAR Busch Series team.
"This is great and we are really excited about the chance to put together a two-car team that is actually two teams in one," Sutton said of the group's apparent unity. "We've worked to make this happen and we're happy it's come together.
"We feel like Glenn is a real up-and-coming talent, and was the right guy to get in this position, and he and Elton really get on well together."
Allen has five top-10 finishes this season and is currently 12th in the series point standings.
Sutton said until the deal was finalized he and partner Brad Akins had not seriously started assembling their second crew.
"We have been looking at and talking to a number of people, but they are with other teams and they still have jobs to do," Sutton said of the partners' restraint.
He added the team was well on its way to creating its fleet of rolling stock, as it had several new cars already built.
"We've got several new cars done and sitting here," Sutton said. "We had been anticipating doing the two-car deal, but even if it didn't happen we knew we'd have new cars ready for 1999 and the 38 team."
Sawyer, who has four top-fives and 10 top-10 finishes in 26 races this season and who has driven for Akins-Sutton since the team was formed in 1993, was instrumental in making the deal happen, Sutton said.
"We're pretty encouraged by the way this has all come together," Sutton said. "Barbasol has been an extremely good sponsor, and they looked at other deals before they decided to stay with us. We're established together and we know how everyone works so it's better to stay together than trying to rebuild something.
"In a way we were surprised the other part of the deal came together the way it did. Elton himself was a big part of it, and they've been responsive to what we're trying to do."
Sutton said his team had a couple tests remaining this season and that Allen "might come along so we can see if what he likes in a car is at all similar to what Elton's looking for."
Source: NASCAR Online