Bill Elliott Racing Breaks Away From Tradition

STATESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 28, 2000) - Breaking away from traditional NASCAR team structure, the performance of the Bill Elliott-driven McDonald's Ford Taurus will be managed by a "communication triangle," replacing the conventional crew chief ...

Bill Elliott Racing Breaks Away From Tradition

STATESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 28, 2000) - Breaking away from traditional NASCAR team structure, the performance of the Bill Elliott-driven McDonald's Ford Taurus will be managed by a "communication triangle," replacing the conventional crew chief role.

The trio of Kevin Cram (performance enhancement director), Mike Ford (car chief), and Troy Raker (engineer) will jointly make decisions regarding the setup, chassis, tuning and overall performance of the No. 94 McDonald's Ford. The three Drive-Thru Crew members are new to Bill Elliott Racing and were hired since the end of the 1999 season. "We've been very aggressive in our recruiting efforts," said Elliott. "Eddie D'Hondt (general manager) has overseen this project and has done a great job hiring quality people who will be an asset to our team. This new structure has been successful in other forms of racing. We're reworking it to fit into the NASCAR setting."

In his role as performance enhancement director for Bill Elliott Racing, Cram will oversee the production of the No. 94 Fords and will direct communication - both within the Statesville, N.C. shop and at the race track with Elliott. Cram, 32, joined Bill Elliott Racing from the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series where he was the crew chief of Stacy Compton's Impact Motorsports truck. He also served as the assistant crew chief in 1996 and 1997 of Ron Hornaday, Jr.'s truck, owned by Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

As car chief, Ford will oversee the overall construction and performance of the No. 94 Ford. Ford, 29, has been working on the NASCAR circuit for 11 years. Last year, he worked for Robert Yates Racing as the suspension/brake specialist and jackman for Dale Jarrett's Winston Cup championship team.

Raker, 35, will apply his technological expertise as engineer for Bill Elliott Racing. In addition, he will oversee fuel strategies on race day. Raker previously worked with Bud Moore Engineering, Ford Motor Company and most recently Rudd Performance Motorsports.

Ernie Elliott, Inc. will continue to provide the powerplants for Bill Elliott Racing. Tony Satanicola, a respected engine builder who spent many years with Cale Yarborough, will work with Ernie Elliott on engine building techniques and will act as the on-site engine tuner for the #94 team.

"We're constantly pursuing personnel to take this team to the next level," said D'Hondt. "Though we have a strong foundation as we head into the new season, we will continue to be aggressive in our ongoing pursuit to become a championship caliber team."

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