NASCAR BGN Series Dura-Lube 200 Preview: #96, Stevie Reeves
27 August 1997
#96 Stevie Reeves, Big A Auto Parts Ford Thunderbird NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Dura-Lube 200 Presented by Trak Auto Advance Darlington Raceway STEVIE REEVES NOTES & QUOTES: DURA-LUBE 200 DARLINGTON, SC - Fresh from a seventh-place finish at the demanding Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Stevie Reeves and the Big A Auto Parts Ford team head to that short track's "Big Sister" filled with enthusiasm for the remainder of the season. Solidly in the top 20 of the NASCAR Busch Grand National standings - even though Reeves and the team are in their first full season on the circuit - the Big A Auto Parts Ford team seeks a second top-10 finish and, perhaps, even a run for the front. Reeves, 29, might be the last driver one would expect to see at the tricky Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. His background appeared to have him headed for an Indy Car career. Reeves grew up literally in the shadow of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, living a block from the fourth turn of the famed track. A few years later, he moved three blocks away from the first turn. His career on the midwestern short tracks was stellar - Reeves is a two-time USAC national champion. CAA Performance Group fields the Big A Auto Parts Ford out of its shop in Kannapolis, N.C. A unique conglomerate, the team is owned by winning NASCAR Winston Cup and CART driver John Andretti; official for several sanctioning bodies and well-known promoter Cary Agajanian; former NASCAR and CART team owner Mike Curb; and one of motorsports' top team and driver administrators Don Laird. The thoughts of Big A Auto Parts Ford driver Stevie Reeves heading into Darlington: "After the good run we had at Bristol, we're pretty excited about getting this Big A Auto Parts Ford team to Darlington. Maybe that will get a little momentum going for us, something that will carry us on through the rest of this season and into 1998. We think we have a lot of promise and potential with this team and we've had the chance to show that some this year. As we move forward, I think you're going to see more and more of that. "A lot of Bristol you can carry over to Darlington. The two tracks don't look a lot alike but, believe me, they have a lot of the same characteristics. Darlington really is Bristol's 'Big Sister.' They aren't twins but the genes are unmistakable. Darlington is fast, its tricky and things can really happen in a hurry there. The racing groove is thin enough so that if something happens in front of you, there aren't a whole lot of choices as to where to go. There's an old rule of thumb to aim at a spinning car, figuring he won't still be there by the time you get there. At Darlington that doesn't always help. He might have finished spinning but now you've got two or three or four more cars going sideways in the same place. "Like Bristol, you spend a lot of time trying to stay out of trouble. The problem is Darlington is an old Western movie. Trouble comes looking for you. You hear about guys being lulled to sleep and that sure can happen. I've seen it happen to drivers and seen it happen to spotters. One of the reasons we've been able to stay out of trouble for the most part this season is we don't get lulled to sleep. (Big A Auto Parts Ford spotter) Tony Hunt is always going on the spotter's stand. While I trust everybody I'm racing with I know enough not to trust the things that can happen to them. If the blink of an eye is all you need to be in a wreck or miss one at Darlington, then the blink of an eye is all you need to get a top-five finish instead of going back to the pits on the end of a hook. Believe me, I'd much rather have that first guy leaning in the car window screaming, 'Congratulations!' than having him saying, 'Hey! Are you OK?' "Darlington's not impossible. I think it just tries to be. My guess is they decided people were getting around the place too well so they hid the start-finish line. I don't think that's going to make it more difficult, but it is going to make communication a little tougher. You know, 'We're doing great in one and two. . . I mean, three and four,' and everybody sitting there wondering if you meant the old one and two or the new one and two. Thank goodness it isn't a road course. We'd need to be there a couple of months just to get the turns straightened out in our minds. "We think we can run well there. We're planning on running well there. We'll get the car compromised the way you have to compromise for Darlington, and we feel we'll have a good run. A lot of people forget this is our first full season on the Busch Series and that (crew chief) John Birosh and a lot of the guys have just now been here for a full year. Believe me, this Big A Auto Parts Ford team is moving in the right direction and we have good things ahead for us." By Williams Company of America, Inc.