Wallace gets new crew chief

Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2003

ATLANTA Larry Carter accepted one of the toughest jobs in motorsports Monday when he agreed to be Rusty Wallace's new crew chief.

Carter, the nephew of longtime NASCAR Nextel Cup Series car owner Travis Carter, will take over a team that hasn't won a race in 98 starts nearly three years.

''We're extremely excited to have Larry join us as our new crew chief,'' Wallace said. ''Larry brings an abundance of talent and experience to our program, and he's a perfect fit to accompany the qualified staff we already have in place. We can't wait to get the ball rolling in 2004.''

Carter worked for BACE Motorsports and rookie driver Tony Raines last year.

''This is a great opportunity, and I am certainly thrilled to have the chance to work with such a successful organization as Penske Racing and a champion-caliber driver like Rusty Wallace,'' Carter said. ''This is a top-notch team with great people and ample resources. I am delighted they have the confidence in me to lead their team, and I'm really looking forward to this new challenge.''

Carter replaced Bill Wilburn, who was winless in two seasons.

The pressure for Wallace was intensified last year when his Penske Racing South teammate, Ryan Newman, won 11 pole positions and eight races.

LOOKING FOR HELP: Several race teams still don't have sponsorship deals for the upcoming season.

Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced it was shutting down the No. 1 Chevrolet to a part-time schedule the Daytona 500 is the only race on their docket and Jeff Burton's No. 99 team at Roush Racing said it might participate in as few as 14 races if the group can't find financial help.

BAM Racing, BACE Motorsports and Ultra Motorsports all are without backing, although BAM owner Mary Ann Morganthau said she's hopeful a deal will be in place before the start of the 2003 season. If she can't find a sponsor, the team might shut down, she said.

BACE and Ultra plan to race with or without a deal, although both admitted their success might be directly proportional to the amount of sponsorship they receive.

PIT STOPS: Thirteen-year-old Dominic Scheer had a great mentor during his go-kart career Juan Pablo Montoya. ''He has taught me so much about go-karting,'' the eighth-grader from Miami said. . . . Jim McMurray, father of newly-crowned NASCAR Nextel Cup Series rookie of the year Jamie McMurray, will try to do something this week his son hasn't managed win a race at Daytona International Speedway. The elder McMurray will be participating in go-kart races at Daytona during KartWeek.

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