Buckshot is Back, Lightning Strikes Twice and More
BUCKSHOT COMES BACK TO RACING – IN PRO CUP
DMT Motorsports announced today that former NASCAR driver, Roy "Buckshot" Jones of Gwinnett County, Georgia, will be driving the No. 01 Southern Division Chevy Monte Carlo car for Bowen Family Homes in the 2007 Hooters Pro Cup. Buckshot last drove the No. 44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge Intrepid for Petty Enterprises in the Nextel Cup Series.
MAC HILL DOUBLES UP FOR 2007
After notching four top-10 finishes in the six-race 2006 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series, Mac Hill Motorsports is pleased to announce that it will run the complete 2007 Pro Cup Northern and Southern Division campaigns with drivers A.J. Frank and Dange Hanniford.
Mac Hill tested the Pro Cup waters by fielding a team for Hanniford during the Championship Series, and team owner Jack McNelly liked what he saw. He said his team was impressed with how series officials were able to balance the sports and business sides of the circuit, and he found Mac Hill’s competition to be both tough on the track, and friendly off.
Buckshot Jones (51 Photos)
"It’s racing the way it should be," McNelly said.
USAR’s decision to scale the series back to eight regular-season dates and five championship races allowed Mac Hill to operate two teams, which McNelly said will mean his organization can get the most out of the knowledge and skill of its workers. Just like in any sport, he said, the more you compete, the better you will become.
"There’s a reason that these big Nextel Cup operations have multi-car teams," he said.
Hanniford, who finished 14th overall in the 2006 season, will continue to drive the No. 65 Chevy Monte Carlo after coming within two points of being named the Miller Lite
"We are thrilled to have Buckshot Jones drive the car for Bowen Family Homes in the Hooters Pro Cup Series," said David Bowen, one of the owners of Bowen Family Homes. "We have been involved in motorsports for five years and have been proud supporters of the Hooters Pro Cup Series since 2005. We are excited to have Buckshot join the team and the Bowen Family."
Jones, who recently drove in the Snowball Derby, is ready to return to racing on a full-time basis next season.
"I am proud to drive in the 2007 Hooters Pro Cup for Bowen Family Homes," said Jones, who has driven over 100 Busch Series and 50 Nextel Cup Series races and won the 1998 NBS Most Popular Driver award. "They are based near my home in Gwinnett County, Ga., and were recently ranked 30th in Atlanta’s Top 100 Private Companies by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. It is an honor to drive for such an excellent and reputable company."
Rookie of the Year. He collected six Top 10 finishes overall
this year and one Top 5, a second-place finish in the next-to-last Championship Series contest.
He said that he learned a lot driving for Mac Hill, and that he feels the experience of driving for the team in the Championship Series will make for a good transition to the 2007 season.
"I feel really good about it, especially with the way the year ended," said Hanniford, who will compete in the Southern Division.
Indeed, McNelly said he is excited to have Hanniford back on the team. He is equally pleased to add Frank to the Mac Hill operation. Frank is an excellent driver, McNelly said, having posted a dozen Top 10 finishes this year with Bullet Racing and half a dozen Top Fives.
And, the team owner added, "Just like Dange, more importantly, he’s a very good young man."
The 32-year-old Frank is a third-generation racer who shares South Carolina roots with Hanniford. The 2007 campaign will be his third season in the Pro Cup. He will drive the No. 56 Chevy Monte Carlo in the Northern Division.
Frank said that his season with Bullet "definitely accelerated" his career, and he’s excited to work with McNelly, with crew chief Tony Lambert—who will lead both teams—with Hanniford and with the entire Mac Hill crew.
"I’ve got a lot of momentum rolling into this season, and I hope to bring it to Mac Hill Motorsports," Frank said.
Shelby Howard (#20) and Woody Howard (#55) made contact out on the track. (Kathy Bond Photo)
BAYNE AND BAINBRIDGE TEAM UP
After of the conclusion of the 2006 USAR Hooters Pro Cup season, T2 Motorsports and Trevor Bayne are already preparing for the 2007 season, announcing the addition of new crew chief Blake Bainbridge.
Trevor and Blake will partner and begin preparations to compete in not only the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Division, but the NASCAR Grand National Busch East Series in 2007 as well.
"Finding a crew chief the caliber of Blake Bainbridge is something we had to look for going into next year," said Trevor. "Unfortunately, we lost our current crew chief Wade Day when he had a brighter opportunity racing himself for Highlands Motorsports in Hooters Pro Cup next year. We are going to miss Wade, and I wish him the best next year. It’s going to be fun finally having the opportunity to race door-to-door with Wade. Growing up, I had a great relationship with him back when we raced karts together.
"I really think Blake will step in and take our team to the next level. I realize I am still maturing as a driver and, with his experience and leadership, I believe in his addition. He has worked with some great drivers and teams like
Clay Rogers' car had seen better days. (51 Photo)
Rusty Wallace and Jamie McMurray with RWI, and heck he just won the Hooters Pro Cup Championship with Clay Rogers.
"I remember talking with Clay at the beginning of the year after he acquired Blake and Clay told me, ‘I have won seven races in my career and Blake promised me that I would match that this year.’ I thought that was pretty strong and when they went out and did that this year along with winning the Championship, I knew that we had to look at Blake ourselves. I believe in Blake and now we just need to focus on preparing our team for the future and winning races."
After working with drivers like Davey Allison and Red Farmer, Blake Bainbridge got his first break with PPI Racing in 1998 testing Busch cars and working on set ups under Doug Richert, current crew chief for Greg Biffle’s No. 16 National Guard Ford. After that, Blake moved over to Joe Gibbs Racing with Doug as the car chief on the Busch car driven by Jeff Purvis. In 2002, Blake took his first crew chief role and helped former Hooters Pro Cup Series Rookie of the Year Brian Vickers land a deal with Hendrick Motorsports.
The 2004 season was a banner year for Blake, when Rusty Wallace gave the young crew chief the opportunity of a lifetime. Rusty hired Blake to help build what is known now as RWI (Rusty Wallace Incorporated) as the crew chief on the No. 66 Dura Flame Dodge driven by Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Busch Series.
"I wanted some consistency; in ‘04 and ’05, I worked with nine different drivers at RWI and it got to be too much. Jamie was a full-time Cup driver and the weeks he was unavailable it seemed like we had a different driver filling his role," said Blake. "I was given the opportunity to work with Clay in the Hooters Pro Cup Series and help develop East Coast Motorsports back into a championship team. Clay is a great driver, but I see a bright future in Trevor Bayne. This is an awesome opportunity for me and my future, partnering with a young shoe like Trevor Bayne. Trevor is only 15 years old and that will give us time to develop a championship caliber team and the chemistry needed to run at the top levels of NASCAR."
GREASED LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE
Greased Lightning and JFco Motorsports extend their relationship today by securing the Atlanta based company as a primary sponsor of their team for the 2007 Hooters Pro Cup Series season. Joining them, a second brand, the Works®, will be sponsoring another JFco team, which will also compete in the Hooters Pro Cup Series.
A.J. Frank will be driving for Mac Hill Motorsports in 2007.
As part of the pact, Jay Fogleman will be sporting new colors in 2007 by driving the Works-branded No. 4 race car in the Southern Division. Jody Lavender, a successful veteran Pro Cup driver for the past three years, will pilot the Greased Lightning car in the Northern Division.
"Having two cars in the Hooters Pro Cup Series come from the same stable is something new to us and we're excited about it," states Helmut Baker, Biolab’s Vice President of Household Chemicals. "Jay Fogleman and our relationship with JFco Motorsports has provided us a great opportunity to reach our audience with our cleaning products. We look forward to a successful year with Jay
and the Works car and also Jody Lavender driving the Greased Lightning car in 2007."
"I'm proud to say I represented the Greased Lightning brand for the past two years," said Jay Fogleman. "We have a great relationship so I look forward to moving into 2007 with two cars and two brands. Next year is definitely the year for JFco to bring the No. 4 car into victory lane."
"I look forward to joining the JFco team and representing Greased Lightning next year," said Jody Lavender. "This is an opportunity for me to expand on the great success Jay has already had with the Greased Lightning branded car, and I will do everything I need to do to have a great season and get us to victory lane."
Fogleman leads all active Pro Cup drivers with the most starts and the most consecutive starts. Also, Fogleman has over 100 career wins with 10 of those coming from the Pro Cup Series. Lavender has one win under his belt in the Pro Cup Series thus far and was declared the Pro Cup’s Most Popular Driver just last year.