NASCAR BGN Advance Auto Parts 250 -- #96, Stevie Reeves
10 July 1997
#96 Stevie Reeves, Big A Auto Parts Ford Thunderbird NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Advance Auto Parts 250 Advance South Boston Speedway STEVIE REEVES NOTES & QUOTES: ADVANCE AUTO PARTS 250 MYRTLE BEACH, SC - Myrtle Beach Speedway is one of the smallest tracks hosting a NASCAR Busch Grand National Series event, but the .538-mile oval can be one of the trickiest speedways on the circuit. That's where Stevie Reeves and the Big A Auto Parts Ford team will be this week for Saturday's Carolina Pride 250 Enjoying a somewhat storied history, the speedway's qualifying record is held by Jeff Gordon and the race record held by a Pearson - Larry, in this case. One of the prime vacation spots of the Carolinas, many Busch teams head to the speedway a day or two early. A maximum of 34 cars will start Saturday's race, making the event one of the tougher ones to make the field. A strong qualifying lap will be necessary at a track where the record is 98.595 miles per hour and thousandths of second will separate the top 10 from failing to make the field. Solidly in the top 20 of the NASCAR Busch Grand National standings, Reeves is in his first full season of the series. He has run a partial schedule the past three years, 15 or more races in each. A racer virtually his entire life, Reeves grew up literally in the shadow of Indianapolis Motor Speedway - one block away from the first turn until moving to three blocks away from the fourth turn. A two-time USAC national champion, Reeves joined the Big A Auto Parts Ford team at the beginning of the 1996 season. The team is owned by auto racing luminaries John Andretti, Cary Agajanian, Mike Curb and Don Laird. The thoughts of Big A Auto Parts Ford driver Stevie Reeves heading into Myrtle Beach: "A lap at Myrtle Beach is pretty much controlled chaos. Something on the car is going to do something weird at some point. You're just going to spend all of your time trying to set the car up to where you know what the weird thing is going to be. If the back end is going to come around on you - and it usually does at the tracks like Myrtle Beach - as long as you know that and have a pretty good idea of how much it's going to come around, then you're usually fine. "Where you run into trouble is when you look out the passenger side window, see something and think, 'What is that?' and then realize it's the rear end of your car. That can be a really unsettling feeling. "Brakes and steering wheel. Steering wheel and brakes. The only reason you have the rest of the car, I guess, is so everybody has something to hit during the race. You have to take care of your brakes, and that's hard to do because you're on them so much. And you have to work that steering wheel. Outside of qualifying, there is no such thing as a smooth lap around Myrtle Beach. You're going into the corners hard, and working to be able to get back on the gas out of them. You have to be under control before you can get back on the gas, though, and you're doing everything you can to get to that point as quickly as possible. "In the meantime, you're dodging the cars in front of you and busy shaking your fist at the guy behind you. Somebody told me once they'd rather run a short track without a roof on the car than without a middle finger. Well, I don't think it's quite that bad but there can be a lot of beating, a lot of banging and a lot of tempers flaring at Myrtle Beach. A lap at Myrtle Beach can be pretty busy, and 250 of them can be extremely busy. "Most of the guys in Busch racing come from a short track background. I learned with the Midget and Sprint cars. A lot of the others learned on the weekly stock car tracks. In this series, a short track can be an equalizer a lot of times since there is so much short track experience in the drivers' seats. Still, patience and brains come into play too. It's hard enough to have one for 250 laps, much less both. "I think this Big A Auto Parts Ford team can do okay this weekend. We're looking forward to a little time at the beach, and we're looking forward to another short track race. We're ready to get going." By Williams Company of America, Inc.