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NASCAR WCUP: Melling Racing and Travis Carter Enterprises Partner for 1999

29 January 1999

CONCORD, N.C. -- Melling Racing and Travis Carter Enterprises have partnered to share technical information and develop performance assistance during the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season.

The two racing operations combined forces to improve research and development for their three teams. Travis Carter Enterprises and crew chief Donnie Wingo field the No. 23 Ford for Jimmy Spencer and the No. 66 Ford for three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Darrell Waltrip. Melling Racing fields the No. 9 Cartoon Network Wacky Racing Ford for Jerry Nadeau.

"We are very excited to be working with Travis Carter and Donnie Wingo," said Jeff Buice, crew chief for Melling Racing. "The one place where three- and four-car teams are beating independent teams is in the number of resources available. They have input from more test sessions, more crew members and more on-track experience. This partnership will give us the ability to bounce ideas off of each other before we try them."

"Obviously we feel that this association with Melling Racing will be beneficial to both teams," said Carter. "It has become increasingly important in the sport of NASCAR racing to be able to pool resources and get input from more than one car. This association will help both teams do just that."

Pro-Motor Engineering provides powerplants for both operations, which will make the transfer of information more consistent and applicable to all three cars.

"Not only will our teams be getting more information, but our motor guys will, too," Buice explained.

"Travis, Donnie and I plan to meet together each week to recap the weekend and get ready for the next race," he continued. "We'll be able to prepare like a multi-car team would. Three teams working toward the same goal can get there a lot quicker than one working by itself."

In addition to mechanical and technical assistance, Nadeau -- a rookie in the series last year -- also hopes to gain from working with more experienced drivers. Waltrip has posted 84 wins to date in his NASCAR Winston Cup career and has won more than $17 million as a driver. Last year, Spencer had four top-seven finishes in the first nine races, including second place in the DieHard 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

"There is a lot of racing history with Darrell and Jimmy," said the 28-year-old Danbury, Conn., native. "I watched Jimmy race modifieds in New England and I watched Darrell win a lot of races over the years. They are two drivers to be reckoned with. They're good guys to get guidance from."

Melling Racing and Travis Carter Enterprises currently plan to work together at test sessions at non-NASCAR tracks and also share information during race events.

"Everyone will benefit from this in the long run," explained Nadeau. "Knowing we will all be working together will make a big difference in attitude, and that can make an even bigger difference in performance."