Loomis, 35, had spent his entire NASCAR Winston Cup Series career with the Petty Enterprises organization, serving as crew chief for the #43 car for the past nine years. He was team manager for both Petty drivers, John Andretti and Kyle Petty, in the 1999 season while handling his duties as crew chief for Andretti and the STP team.
"Robbie is going to make a great addition to our team," Whitesell said. "We've had a number of discussions and he is a great fit in the overall structure that I envisioned when I took this position." Whitesell, with a strong background in organizational administration and a graduate engineer, will guide the overall operation of the #24 team. "I'm really grateful for this opportunity to join Hendrick Motorsports and to work with such a winning organization with such a great reputation," Loomis said. "I wasn't looking to leave Petty Enterprises, but the unique opportunity of being able to work with Jeff Gordon, Brian Whitesell and all the other members of this team had great appeal to me. They've had wonderful success and have set the standard for other teams to emulate. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to help contribute to their great tradition."
"We are delighted to have Robbie Loomis join us," Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick said. "His experience, background and reputation are a known commodity and we expect him to be a tremendous asset for the #24 DuPont team and for our whole organization. He's a proven competitor and a winner and we know he will hit it off quickly with both Jeff Gordon and Brian Whitesell to help us continue to forge that winning chemistry. We believe in the team manager/crew chief combination and feel this gives us what we want on the #24 team."
"I'm really excited to have someone with such great talent and experience join our team," Gordon said. "I'm looking forward to working with Robbie. Everyone in the Winston Cup garage knows his capabilities. His expertise and racing savvy will add a great deal of depth to our team and he and Brian will make a great combination."
Loomis began his crew chief career in 1991 for Richard Petty. He remained in the crew chief position after Petty retired from driving to work with Petty Enterprises. He crew chiefed Bobby Hamilton and John Andretti to a total of three victories since 1996.
Copyright ©1999 Jeff Gordon Online.
All rights reserved.