BUSCH: Lyndon Amick, Hank Parker Team Up

Amick, Parker Jr. to team up By Shawn A. Akers CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 14, 1999) Lyndon Amick and Hank Parker Jr., both up-and-coming young talents in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, will be teammates as Amick Motorsports has...

Amick, Parker Jr. to team up By Shawn A. Akers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 14, 1999) Lyndon Amick and Hank Parker Jr., both up-and-coming young talents in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division, will be teammates as Amick Motorsports has merged with Hank Parker Racing and will field two teams beginning in 1999.

Amick, who made 12 starts in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1998, will drive the No. 35 SCANA/Powertel Chevrolet, while Parker, who made only three NASCAR Busch Series last season, will drive the No. 53 B.A.S.S. Chevrolet. Amick's team is headquartered in Concord, N.C., while Parker's team will be run out of Denver, N.C.

The official announcement of the merger between the two teams will come Friday at the NASCAR Busch Series Preview in Hickory, N.C.

Team owner Bill Amick has also secured the services of Barry Dodson, a long-time successful crew chief in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, to be the general manager of both teams.

Lyndon Amick had high hopes for the 1998 season, but those were dashed as the team encountered personnel problems early on, including the departure of crew chief Gary DeHart after just one race. The No. 35 SCANA team continued to struggle to make races throughout the season, but saw some bright spots by posting consecutive top-10 finishes at Myrtle Beach (fourth) and South Boston (ninth).

Buddy Barnes has been a stabilizing factor as the No. 35 Chevrolet team's crew chief, and with the addition of Dodson, Lyndon Amick said he feels more at ease going into 1999 than any of the other two seasons he's been in the NASCAR Busch Series.

"I think we've got a lot more security now," said Amick, the 1996 NASCAR Goody's Dash Series champion. "The security is that Barry Dodson has come on board. Buddy (Barnes) has been with me more than any other crew chief has been with me so far length-wise. The motor deal is going good. Bo Montgomery is running the motor shop. That's getting lined up. My PR stuff is in good shape. We've started a website for me.

"We've got a lot of things that are really exciting, but I'm not making a lot of noise about it. I'm not going to set myself up for a fall even though I know in my heart that, hey, we can win races this year. I thought that before, but the rug gets pulled out from under you. I feel a lot more stable with this team. We've got things going in the right direction. Things are going to work.

"This is the first time I've really felt a peace about what's going on, and that means more to me on the inside that having key people, key names. That's why we haven't made a big deal out of it. We want our performance to show where we are."

Amick Motorsports joins the ranks of multi-car teams in the NASCAR Busch Series. Amick said he is looking forward to working with Parker Jr. this season, but it's Dodson that will be the key to both teams' success.

"Barry has pulled everything together," Amick said. "He just pulled everything together. He is the missing link. The communication between Buddy and myself and Barry comes in and we work well together. We solve problems together. We can talk, and it's that missing link, that chemistry that people talk about, and that's what we were missing. That's what Barry has brought to the table, leadership. Buddy has been with Barry before, and that makes everything work together.

A former standout in the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series, Parker Jr. suffered through a tough season a year ago. He had hoped to run a great deal of races for Mark III Motorsports, but wound up making only two starts for that team and got hurt early in the year.

That forced him to step back from racing for two months, but he came back at the end of the season to post a solid finish in October at Rockingham, when he finished sixth in the ACDelco 200 in a car fielded by his father, Hank Parker Sr.

"It (last season) was an extreme disappointment," Parker Jr. said. "It was just a bad situation, a pressure-filled deal. There was a lot of pressure not to tear something up, to be careful and just try to conserve every penny that you could, and you can't race like that. I got hurt, and I took those two months off, and I sat at home and thought about it every day until I started working again and building my own team.

"I really feel like this situation is a lot better for the simple fact that going into Daytona we have a crew chief, everything is set in place, everybody knows their job, they know what's going on, and we know we're going to be racing all the races. If you take that pressure off, the other pressures won't bother you. As long as you know you're going to be racing and you've got a good crew chief, everything will be great."

Dave McCarty will be the crew chief for the No. 53 B.A.S.S. Chevrolet. Parker said the team hopes to secure a few other associate sponsors to help the team out financially early on in 1999.

Parker Jr. is eligible for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors this season, and it's his main goal to win that title.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Drivers Hank Parker Jr. , Lyndon Amick