NASCAR BGN Series MBNA 200 Preview: #96, Stevie Reeves
17 September 1997
#96 Stevie Reeves, Big A Auto Parts Ford Thunderbird NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division MBNA 200 Advance Dover Downs International Speedway STEVIE REEVES NOTES & QUOTES: MBNA 200 DOVER, DE - If there is such thing as a "concrete driver," it would be Big A Auto Parts Ford driver Stevie Reeves. The Indianapolis, Ind., native is considered one of NASCAR Busch Grand National racing's real experts on concrete surfaced speedways. Just three weeks ago, he stormed to a seventh-place finish on the concrete surface at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. This is Reeves' and the Big A Auto Parts Ford team's first full season on NASCAR's Busch Grand National circuit. Yet, the team has held a solid position among the top 20 in the standings all season, without the benefit many teams enjoy such as Winston Cup crews and technology. Among true Busch Grand National teams, the Big A Auto Parts Ford has proven itself as one of the top up-and-coming teams. Reeves, 29, is a native of Speedway, Ind., who grew up literally in the shadow of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He was born while his parents lived in a house three blocks from the fourth turn of the famed speedway; he later moved to within one block of the first turn. Seemingly destined to drive a race car, Reeves has two national USAC championships and is still considered one of the best midwestern U.S. drivers. CAA Motorsports fields the Big A Auto Parts Ford. CAA is owned by John Andretti, one of just four drivers in history with major race victories in NASCAR, CART and IMSA; Cary Agajanian, one of the best known racing promoters and administrators in the country; Mike Curb, the former Lt. Governor of California who has owned CART and NASCAR Winston Cup cars; and Don Laird, one of the top race managers in the nation. The thoughts of Big A Auto Parts Ford driver Stevie Reeves heading into Dover: "I guess (spotter) Tony Hunt will start clearing his throat on Monday and he may be hoarse by the end of the day Saturday. It seems like he is talking all the time when we race at Dover. There is just so much going on on the track at the same time. "I can't think of a busier race track than Dover. First of all, it's so fast. It's one mile but you're zipping around the place in 24 or 25 seconds, so things happen in a hurry. A lot of the track is one grooved too, so there aren't a lot of places to go to get out of the way of trouble if it's nearby. If you're the one in trouble, all you can do is hold on and hope for the best. If somebody in front of you is in trouble, all you can do is hold on and hope for the best. Half the time, if somebody behind you is in trouble, all you can do is hold on and hope for the best. You can get in trouble really quick. Sometimes I hear Tony yell, 'Caution!' and breathe a sigh of relief when I find out I'm not the one in trouble. "It's still a great place to race. You really get a good grip on the track, and that makes you move pretty fast. It's aim and go a lot of times. But it makes Dover a really racey track. There have been some great races there, and some really great Busch Grand National races. It's the type of track that lends itself to that. "We're excited because this Big A Auto Parts Ford team has run pretty well on concrete this year. We ran great in the first Dover race and ran great in the first Bristol race, both of those on concrete, and some mis-placed caution flags cost us pretty good finishes. A couple of cautions falling at the right time and we could have had some really good finishes in those two races. Things worked out pretty well for us at Bristol a few weeks ago and we had a seventh-place finish. A few breaks this week, and I don't see any reason we wouldn't be running among the top five at the end of the race and maybe even be in a position to do something really big. "We're getting there. I think a lot of people don't realize what a small amount of time this team has been together, and how far we've come in the meantime. We're working hard and we're heading in the right direction. Maybe sometimes the progress doesn't go quite as fast as we'd like but we're still making progress. We know there are some really great things ahead for this race team, and we're excited about the future." By Williams Company of America, Inc.