NASCAR & Auto Racing

M. Waltrip hires tech director

Michael Waltrip hired Dr. Eric Warren as technical director, the first of many moves he hopes will strengthen his three-car team.

Warren, who has a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from N.C. State, spent the past five years as technical director at Evernham Motorsports. He was replaced midway through this season as team owner Ray Evernham refocused his energy on building cars to help his slumping team.

Warren's hiring fills a role that has been vacant at Michael Waltrip Racing since he began hiring late last season.

Waltrip built his three-car operation from scratch amid high expectations as the face of Toyota's first season in Nextel Cup racing. But his team was caught cheating during Daytona 500 preparations, leading to a lengthy suspension for his competition director and crew chief.

 NASCAR announced that senior vice president Paul Brooks will take over as head of the sanctioning body's Charlotte office. Brooks will lead the development of the NASCAR Media Group, a merger of NASCAR Images, NASCAR Digital Entertainment and other content groups. Brooks will continue as president of NASCAR Broadcasting and Digital Entertainment. -- David Scott , The Charlotte Observer