MORRISON, Colo. -- On the eve of the 23rd Annual Mopar Mile High NHRA Nationals in Denver, Colo., Mark and Reid Whisnant have announced the promotion of James "Buzz" Reichard to the position of Crew Chief on their RW Performance Pro Stock...
MORRISON, Colo. -- On the eve of the 23rd Annual Mopar Mile High NHRA Nationals in Denver, Colo., Mark and Reid Whisnant have announced the promotion of James "Buzz" Reichard to the position of Crew Chief on their RW Performance Pro Stock Chevrolet Cavalier.
Since the departure of crew chief Brad Jeter in May, Mark and Reid Whisnant have been searching for the right person to fill the position. Due to Jeter's unexpected absence, crewman James Reichard was forced to take on a more responsibility and consequently became pivotal in the enhanced performance of the RW Performance Cavalier. After observing Reichard's talent and enthusiasm first hand, the Whisnants decided to look no further than their own team for a new crew chief.
"My Dad and I are very impressed with the job that James (Reichard) has done," said Whisnant from his home in Stockbridge, Ga. "He stepped up when Brad left and showed the enthusiasm and drive to take a leadership role on this team.
"James has a lot of good ideas and is very attentive to details with the clutch and all other aspects of the racecar. He goes the extra mile, and is always thinking of ways to make the car better. Those are the kind of qualities that an employer wants to see in their employees. Because of that, we decided he would be the best man for the job."
Before coming to Team RW, Reichard spent two years (1999 and 2000) working as the chassis specialist on Kurt Johnson's AC Delco Camaro. Reichard spent the 2001 season working as the clutch specialist on Jerry Toliver's Funny Car teams. During his tenure with Toliver, he worked closely with Legendary Crew Chief Dale Armstrong and clutch manufacturer Bob Brooks. Reichard joined the RW Performance team this past winter.
"I am honored that Reid and Mark Whisnant have enough confidence in me that they felt I was the best candidate for crew chief on this RW Performance Chevrolet," said Reichard. "I feel what I bring to this team is a better understanding of how the clutch works and how to read a racetrack. Two things which are very important in being consistent on race day.
"Last season I learned about clutch systems and how to read the racetrack from two of the best in the business. I am grateful for the time I spent with Dale Armstrong and Bob Brooks. What I learned from them is invaluable.
"Most Pro Stock teams do not know how applicable top fuel clutch stuff is to these cars. I have tried to incorporate the best of what I learned at Toliver's and at W.J.'s into one of the most consistent clutch programs on the lot. For this RW Performance team that translates into qualifying well, and going rounds on Sunday.
"As crew chief I have set two goals for this team; I want to win two races, and finish the 2002 POWERade season in the top 5. I have a talented team behind me, that combined with Mark's driving skills, I do not think these goals are out of the question.
"Right now my first priority is to get this Cavalier qualified for the Mile High Nationals. The altitude here in Denver is hard on these Pro Stock cars. It will be an accomplishment to just qualify this weekend, but I'm ready to give it all I have."
Qualifying at the 23rd Annual Mopar Mile High NHRA Nationals will begin on Friday July 19 and continue on Saturday July 20. Eliminations will take place on Sunday July 21.