BUSCH: Monsam One Race Deal with Team 34

Monsam gets tryout at Team 34 Dave Rodman WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 9, 1998) John Monsam, the young crew chief who parted ways with J&J Racing following the Kroger 200 July 31 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, will rejoin the...

Monsam gets tryout at Team 34 Dave Rodman

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 9, 1998) John Monsam, the young crew chief who parted ways with J&J Racing following the Kroger 200 July 31 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, will rejoin the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division championship-contending Team 34 in a one-race "tryout" at the Pepsi 200 presented by DeVilbiss, team co-owner Scott Welliver said Sunday while attending the Bud at The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International.

Monsam, who worked as a general mechanic with Team 34 Team Manager Clyde McLeod and driver Todd Bodine during the 1992 season when Bodine won three races and finished third in the NBS point standings, joins a team that is currently third in the points with driver Mike McLaughlin handling the No. 34 Goulds Pumps Chevrolet.

McLeod has served as crew chief since Gary Cogswell left the team following the race at IRP.

"This is obviously a great opportunity -- to work with a team as good as theirs," Monsam said. "If we can make a good showing at Michigan, it could work out well for both of us."

Monsam, who has worked as a crew chief on a diverse number of teams including Ricky Craven's NASCAR Busch Series team and who also spent time with the late Alan Kulwicki's operation, likened the move to a baseball team shoring up its roster for a stretch run to a possible pennant.

"I am hoping that I can help them get to where they want to go," said Monsam, who worked races at Michigan Speedway twice last season: In June with Richard Jackson's NASCAR Winston Cup team and rookie driver Jerry Nadeau; and in August at the NASCAR Busch Series race shortly after joining J&J Racing.

Monsam was with the team now known as Team 34 in 1992 when Bodine won the inaugural NASCAR Busch Series race at Michigan. He also won at Nazareth, Pa., and Bristol, Tenn., that year. In addition to his shop duties he was the team's jackman on race day.

Welliver said Monsam's tryout was the latest positive step for the team, which currently has three teams in operation. Welliver said the team was building a new shop in Concord, N.C., that could easily house four teams.

Even though sponsor Slim Jim will not be back for the 1999 season, Welliver said the team has at least verbal commitments from all three of its drivers: McLaughlin, David Green and Bodine, to return in 1999.

McLaughlin has contended for his first NBS championship all season. Green came to the team's No. 36 Stanley Pontiac prior to the Lysol 200 here in June and has scored six straight top- five finishes. Bodine got into the Slim Jim Chevrolet in mid-July and ran well right off the bat.

Monsam planned to be at the Team 34 shop on Tuesday just prior to leaving for Michigan. Although he's never worked with McLaughlin, he's extremely familiar with him due to their time together in the NASCAR Busch Series and through McLaughlin's involvement with Monsam's father, who formerly owned NASCAR Modified race cars.

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike McLaughlin , Ricky Craven , David Green , Alan Kulwicki