MOPAR BOASTS NEW FACES AND NEW GOALS IN COPPER WORLD
March 19, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TEAM MOPAR CONTACT:
J.R. Thompson Company
MOPAR BOASTS NEW FACES AND NEW GOALS IN 2004
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
www.moparspeed.com, www.davesteele.com, www.jaydrake.com, www.tracyhines.com 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.