Olsen Expands Role In Busch East Series by Penny Aicardi
No. 16 Revived With Young, European Driver
Maxime Dumarey will team up with Olsen starting this week at South Boston. (51 Photos)
Mike Olsen has had a successful career in the NASCAR Busch East Series. Together with his car owner and grandfather, Stub Fadden, Olsen has won two series titles and earned the respect of every one of his competitors. He’s part of only a handful of drivers to exceed the million-dollar mark in career earnings. Olsen has made it no secret, however, that for the future, he’s ready to branch out into car ownership.
This week at South Boston Speedway, Olsen will take a giant leap into the ownership arena as he fields his first car for a driver other than family.
Maxime Dumarey, an 18-year-old European road racer with aspirations to make it in NASCAR, will drive the No. 16 Bodycoach.net Chevrolet owned by Fadden Racing, Inc., under the guidance of the two-time Champion. Olsen will continue to drive as well -- attempting a repeat at the championship behind the wheel of his famed No. 61 “Little Trees” Chevrolet. The partnership between Olsen and Dumarey will be a season-long endeavor.
“I’m excited about this deal,” said Olsen. “Max is a pretty accomplished road racer. He has the experience and talent to do this, and I hope with my experience I can speed up the learning curve that is ahead of him in these types of cars.”
Dumarey began the season under the Fitz Motorsports banner, but only made one start at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. With little time behind the wheel, Dumarey had to adjust from the lighter cars that he’s accustomed to driving to the heavier Busch East Series stock car. He finished 25th in his first outing.
Dumarey has gained his experience through Europe’s FIA GT3 series, which was launched in 2006 as a way to expand manufacturer involvement in motorsports in Europe. It attempts to combine multiple one-make series into a larger event with a race within a race. Teams compete not only to beat others in their own manufacturer cup, but also to win the overall race.
Over the last two years, Dumarey has driven everything from a Porsche 997 to a Dodge Viper to a Lamborghini Gallardo in these road racing events. He’s driven the 24 hour Spa, a highly regarded race in Europe, as well as Formule Renault 1.6 and the 24 hours Zolder.
Dumarey came to the United States to further his career, and first tested the waters in the Grand Am Series, but quickly realized that NASCAR was where he wanted to be.
“I knew trying to get into NASCAR would not be easy, but I’m really excited to have formed this partnership with Fadden Racing and Mike Olsen,” said Dumarey. “We have spent a lot of time together over the last couple of weeks and I am pleased with how he runs his organization. I am certain that his crew, his work ethics, and his equipment are correct for me. I know going to South Boston that I can be in a competitive car. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m really happy with how things are shaping up.”
James Lang, who has worked on Olsen’s crew for many years, has been named crew chief for Dumarey.