PPI Makes Crew Chief Change

PPI Motorsports (PPIM) announced today that Gary Putnam, the team’s competition director, will now assume the role of crew chief of the No. 32 Tide/Downy Chevrolet driven by Travis Kvapil in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The position is effective immediately as he has begun preparing for this weekend’s Cup event, the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Meanwhile, James Ince, who has served as team manager as well as crew chief at PPIM since September 2005 has been released to pursue other opportunities.

“It is time to go in a new direction with this Tide/Downy race team and Gary Putman is the person I have chosen to take the lead,” said Cal Wells III, owner of PPI Motorsports. “I appreciate his willingness to step up and take on this new challenge. It was never our intention to move Gary into this role when he was originally hired. However, it is evident in our current position of 41st place in points that we are not providing the tools needed for Travis to succeed on the race track. I feel fortunate to have the kind of depth on this team to be able to call up a person of Gary’s caliber to assume this new responsibility. I credit that to James Ince since he recruited Putnam to join PPIM in January.

“I truly need to thank James Ince for everything he has done for this organization,” continued Wells. “He has worked extremely hard to rebuild this Tide/Downy race team as well as assemble a quality group of people. Unfortunately, we have not met the objectives set forth at the start of the season and therefore, we both felt it would be in the best interest of the team as well as for James to make this change. He is extremely talented and I know he will be successful in whatever he chooses to do in the future. I wish him nothing but the best.”

Putnam, 35, a native of Connecticut, got his start in racing working for Charlie and Carl Pasteryak on the Whelen Modified Tour. Before joining PPIM in January, he served as crew chief at NEMCO Motorsports (2004-2005) and Petty Enterprises (2002-2004).

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