Rick Carelli

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Rick Carelli
Rick Carelli.jpg
Carelli in 1997
Born (1954-11-09) November 9, 1954 (age 62)
Arvada, Colorado, United States
Achievements 1993 NASCAR Winston West Series Champion
1991 NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour Champion
Awards 2009 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inductee
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
9 races run over 3 years
Best finish 49th (1994)
First race 1992 Save Mart Supermarkets 300 (Sears Point)
Last race 1994 Slick 50 300 (Phoenix)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
2 races run over 2 years
Best finish 119th (2003)
First race 1998 Lycos.com 250 (Pikes Peak)
Last race 2003 TrimSpa Dream Body 250 (Pikes Peak)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
134 races run over 8 years
Best finish 6th (1995)
First race 1995 Skoal Bandit Copper World Classic (Phoenix)
Last race 2002 Florida Dodge Dealers 250 (Daytona)
First win 1996 Coca-Cola 200 (Bristol)
Last win 2000 Kroger 200 (Richmond)
Wins Top tens Poles
4 60 0

Rick Carelli (born November 9, 1954) is an American crew member for Stewart-Haas Racing and former race car driver from Arvada, Colorado.[1] He was nicknamed the "High Plains Drifter".[2] He won multiple times in the #6 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series truck. He was the spotter for Kurt Busch in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Racing career[edit]

Carelli's 1997 Chesrown Racing truck

Carelli won the NASCAR Southwest Tour championship in 1991 and won 21 times in the series during his career.[2] He joined the NASCAR Winston West Series in 1992,[1] and he was named the series Rookie of the Year. He returned to the series in 1993, capturing the series championship and Most Popular Driver award.[1][2] He has won nine times in that series.[2]

He was one of the original drivers in the Craftsman Truck Series, starting at the series' first race at Phoenix in 1995. Carelli raced every series race until he suffered near-fatal injuries when his truck hit the wall during a race at Memphis Motorsports Park in 1999. He suffered a basal skull fracture, damaged his carotid artery and sinus.[3] He recovered and returned to race the entire 2000 season.[3] He won another race at Richmond International Raceway in 2000 with an underfunded team that he was the crew chief for. He also made 9 Winston Cup starts from 1992 to 1994. He stopped driving in 2004 and moved into the administrative side of motorsport.[3]

After retiring from driving, he later became the team manager for Kevin Harvick Incorporated – a position that he held when Ron Hornaday won the 2007 championship.[2] He currently works with NTS Motorsports as the team general manager.[4] Carelli was also the spotter for the Stewart-Haas Racing #41, driven by Kurt Busch.


Carelli was inducted in the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame in 2009 along with Wayne Spears, Doug George, and Chuck Bown.[5][6]

Motorsports career results[edit]


(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup Series[edit]

Busch Series[edit]

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

24 Hours of Daytona[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "Rick Carelli". Racing West. 1999. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame to induct 10 in July". NASCAR. April 8, 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c Wack, Craig (June 21, 2009). "Rick Carelli's seat safer than '99 Trucks Series ride". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "No. 14 California Clean Power Chevrolet to Feature Throwback Paint Scheme From Inaugural Truck Series Race". NTS Motorsports. September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015. 
  5. ^ "HOF Modern Era Inductees". Racing West. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame". West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Retrieved 16 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bill Sedgwick
NASCAR Winston West Series champion
Succeeded by
Mike Chase
Preceded by
Doug George
NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Tour champion
Succeeded by
Ron Hornaday