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March 19, 2004


Misha Geisert
J.R. Thompson Company 
(317) 432-4110


Center Line, Mich. - The 2004 Team Mopar members are ready to tackle a season 
of firsts as the USAC racing season opens this weekend with the Copper World 
Classic at Phoenix International Raceway. Looking to better the stellar effort 
of their predecessors, they will be writing a new chapter in their racing 
careers. New teams, new faces and new goals will set the tone for 2004.

Last season, the team combined for an outstanding record in the USAC National 
Midget Series, combining for 11 series wins, 34 Top-five finishes and 49 
Top-10 finishes. For Dave Steele, Josh Wise, Davey Ray and Tracy Hines, this 
season will become an opportunity to put a one-up on the old team standard.

Veteran driver Dave Steele will debut his new USAC Midget Series team at the 
Copper World Classic, as he and fellow Floridian Bruce Nicholas have joined 
forces to form Nicholas Racing. Known as a constant threat and fierce 
competitor, Steele is looking forward to getting the season underway. 

"We plan to pick up right where we left off last season," Steele said. "I am 
excited about the idea of starting the season with a new team. I like the 
challenge of building a new team from the ground up, and we have taken the steps 
to ensure that we'll be ready when the green flag drops this weekend."

Steele will also defend his Copper World Silver Crown title, while fellow 
Team Mopar member Jay Drake looks to add that trophy to his own mantle. 

"For the most part, if you win races, you'll win the championship," Drake 
said. "The guy that wins races is almost always the guy that gets the title. Not 
always, but for the most part. Starting with Copper World, we're going after 
the wins and the title. It's going to be a good year."

Drake will compete for Stewart-Snider Racing in 2004, piloting the No. 11 
USAC Silver Crown Series machine. The team will be looking for a series 
championship, after finishing in the top-10 in series points last season.

Tracy Hines, who will return to his open wheel roots during a break from his 
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule, will return to the cockpit of his 
familiar No. 11 Mopar from Wilke-PAK Motorsports. The NCTS rookie will compete in 
a full USAC National Midget Series pavement schedule under the Mopar banner 
this season. Hines will be looking to add to his already impressive open wheel 
record, starting with the Copper World Classic in Phoenix.

The Copper World Classic will also mark a debut for another Wilke-PAK race 
driver, as Davey Ray will begin his tenure with the highly respected team. Ray 
brings another personality to Team Mopar, and he is looking forward to getting 
his shot at the brass ring this season.

"We're certainly excited about being a part of Team Mopar," Ray said. "We're 
also excited about the effort that Mopar has put behind their program, from 
the driver development to the engine program. This weekend will be the start of 
a great season for us."

The final debut for Team Mopar will come with the addition of Josh Wise to 
the racing stable. The 2003 Belleville Nationals Champion will compete for Tony 
Stewart Racing Enterprises this season in the No. 20 Mopar. As the youngest 
addition to Mopar's open wheel arsenal, Wise, 21 years old, expects to fit right 
into the program.

"We're really excited about the start of this season, and I'm especially 
excited to be a part of Team Mopar and Tony Stewart Racing," Wise said. "Everyone 
has worked so hard to prepare for this weekend; a lot of effort has gone into 
this race. We tested in Florida last week, and we're really focused on running 
well. It's been a lot of work and a lot of effort to get ready for Copper 
World, and we're confident that we've done our part to prepare."

With all eyes on them as the 2004 racing season gets underway, Team Mopar is 
ready to embark on the challenge of staying in their position as some of the 
best in the business.

For more information regarding Team Mopar or its drivers, log on to,,, or

Mopar is based in Center Line, Mich., and is the exclusive original equipment 
supplier of parts and accessories for Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep® vehicles.