ward burton out, scott wimmer in!
Wimmer to replace Burton, starting at Atlanta
By Dave Rodman, Turner Sports Interactive
October 8, 2003
6:03 PM EDT (2203 GMT)
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- NASCAR Winston Cup driver Ward Burton and team owner Bill Davis reached an agreement Wednesday that will put BDR's Busch Series driver, Scott Wimmer, in the No. 22 Caterpillar car at Atlanta Motor Speedway in two weeks.
Burton will drive the car this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway and the following weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
Wimmer will be the driver of the No. 22 car for the rest of 2003 and full-time in 2004, when he competes for Nextel Cup Rookie of the Year. Wimmer previously tested both a Chevrolet and a Dodge at Atlanta for the Oct. 26 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500.
BDR has no current agreement with a manufacturer that would require it to run a certain body style.
"I believe Scott has earned the opportunity to get into the CAT car," Davis said. "He's been working toward this for a long time and now is the time that he can be proud of where his career is heading.
"He's spent his entire life racing -- he grew up in a racing family (and) he understands the entire sport."
Burton said Wednesday that he is in the closing stages of finalizing a full-time deal for 2004, but that he preferred to defer most of his comments to the appropriate time for that announcement.
"It's been an emotional roller coaster -- working out everything we had to do," said Burton, who's spent the previous eight years of his career with Davis, winning five times, including the 2002 Daytona 500.
"I'd rather address everything at one time. The biggest concern I have right now is doing the right thing to maintain the personal relationships I've got in this sport and the great fans that have supported me through the good and the bad."
Wimmer, 27, a native of Wausau, Wis., will finish the final six races of the Busch Series season, where he is currently seventh in points, in addition to doing the final four Winston Cup races.
Wimmer began racing three-wheelers at age eight and progressed to racing stock cars by the time he was 15. He raced around the state of Wisconsin racking up accolades at all the local short tracks, ranging from rookie of the year and Driver of Tomorrow at State Park Speedway to the Miller Triple Crown champion.
Wimmer then moved to the Hooters ProCup Series in 1997, where he won rookie of the year before moving on to the American Speed Association's ACDelco Challenge Series in 2000.
Davis kept an eye on Wimmer after he broke into the ASA series and won the first two races that he entered, at Lanier Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway. Davis signed Wimmer to run the full Busch Series schedule in 2001.
To date, Wimmer has logged five Busch Series victories and finished third in the 2002 standings.
Davis, however, added a word of warning to Wednesday's announcement.
"Everyone, including the team, sponsors, fans and media, needs however, to manage their expectations and be realistic," Davis said. "We know Scott will be fine, but we also need to remember just how difficult this sport has become.
"Winston Cup is the most competitive series in racing."
Last edited by joeguy; 10-13-2003 at 06:55 PM.
And Moved To Here!!!
SIGNED WITH THESE GUYS!!!
Burton signs to drive No. 0 Pontiac in 2004
From Team Press Release October 9, 2003
12:21 PM EDT (1621 GMT)
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- NetZero HiSpeed and Haas CNC Racing announced today that NASCAR veteran Ward Burton will be behind the wheel of the No. 0 NetZero HiSpeed Pontiac during the 2004 Nextel Cup Series season.
"This is a great opportunity for me to bring my experience to an up and coming, young team," stated Burton. "I've watched the team grow and progress in its first year and it's definitely come a long way in a short time. Gene Haas runs a first-class organization, NetZero HiSpeed is a great sponsor and Tony Furr is an outstanding crew chief. I feel like we can take this team to the next level together and I'm thrilled to be a part of it. There's no end to the possibilities for this race team."
Burton brings a wealth of knowledge and success to the NetZero HiSpeed Racing team. Since he began racing at NASCAR's highest level in 1994, Burton has scored 24 Top-5 and 79 Top-10 finishes. Currently sitting 20th, he has finished as high as ninth in the championship point standings. He has seven pole positions to his credit and has been to victory lane five times. Two of his trophies came last year, one in New Hampshire and his biggest win to date, the Daytona 500.
"We're thrilled to have someone of Ward's caliber joining our team. It says a lot for our race team," said Haas, owner of Haas CNC Racing. "The experience that he brings is something that will help us in so many ways. I just can't say enough about how excited we are about our future. We've had a lot of great people come on board our organization this year and we've made steady progress in our efforts to be successful. Ward Burton is the icing on our cake."
"Ward Burton is a proven race winner," stated Brian Woods, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of NetZero. "He brings with him outstanding talent and we couldn't be happier that he has seen the potential that lies within this team. His driving skills and knowledge of a racecar are extremely impressive. We look forward to the future of NetZero HiSpeed Racing."
In a related move, Haas CNC Racing and NetZero will expand their partnership for 2004, with NetZero joining the team's new Busch Series program for current NetZero driver Jason Leffler as an associate sponsor for all 2004 events and primary sponsor of the effort for three races.
"We've been really impressed with Jason's performance so far, and look forward to being with him and Haas CNC Racing in the Busch Series next year as they compete for race wins and the championship," said Woods. "Jason is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Busch Series next year, and the experience he gains there will certainly help when he returns full time to the Nextel Cup Series in the future."
"The combination of Ward Burton and Jason Leffler is going to be a tremendous boost to our entire program," said Haas. "Jason will have a tremendous resource in Ward's experience, and Ward is committed to helping Jason in any way he can. Our long term goal would be to have Jason and Ward running together as teammates in the Nextel Cup Series, and I'm confident that in the not too distant future, that's exactly what we'll do."
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