Ifft Back In Cup With Morgan-Mcclure

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- The Morgan-McClure Motorsports team has solved part of its team member vacancy problem -- at least for the time being.

The team, which fields the No. 4 Kodak Chevrolets for Bobby Hamilton in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, has named veteran David Ifft as the interim crew chief for the final three races of the 2000 season. The team will work on finding a full-time crew chief during the off-season.

Team owner Larry McClure still has not made a decision as to who will drive the Kodak Chevrolet next season. Hamilton will leave the team at the end of the 2000 campaign and will drive the No. 55 Square D Chevrolet for Andy Petree Racing beginning in 2001.

A mutual friend of Ifft’s and McClure brought the two together last week. Ifft, who spent last season and the first half of the 2000 campaign as the crew chief for the No. 25 Chevrolets fielded by Team Rensi Motorsports in the NASCAR Busch Series, has expressed interest in returning to the Winston Cup Series full time next season.

Ifft has more than 29 years of NASCAR experience behind him and has worked with the likes of Bobby Isaac, Robbie Moroso, Darrell Waltrip, Benny Parsons, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker, Kenny Wallace and Andy Santerre during his career. He has won 27 Winston Cup races as a crew chief.

Ifft’s duties with the No. 4 team began this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway at Sunday’s Dura Lube 500.

"I’ve known Larry (McClure) for as long as he’s been racing," Ifft said. "Larry is a racer. We got together and I said I’d help him for the last three races. I wasn’t doing anything. I was working with the Lance car with Kenny Wallace until a few months ago. They built a new shop and moved into. I told my wife if I had to drive across town that I might as well get back into Winston Cup and make the big money.

"But Larry and I never talked about money. I’m just here to help him in the next few races. They’ve got a good race team. They’ve got good people. He’s got a good facility. They just need somebody to lead the car department in the right directions. I’m here to help."

Ifft said he and McClure aren’t ruling out the possibility of him returning as the team’s crew chief on a full-time basis for next season.

"We are on a trial run right now," Ifft said. "Before, I got burned out on Winston Cup racing. To be truthful, my kids grew up and I didn’t even know who they were. But they’re all grown up now. So, if everything works out, then we will look towards next year. I guess I might be crazy, but it feels good to be back in this series."

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