Bud Moore Engineering to Show at Charlotte
1 October 1997CONCORD, NC - Bud Moore Engineering will return to NASCAR Winston Cup competition this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time since February.
The Spartanburg, SC-based team, along with driver Greg Sacks, participated in the September 23 open test at the 1.5-mile facility in preparation for this Sunday's UAW-GM 500. Sacks' fastest lap was 30.20 seconds (178.808 mph). [NOTE: Last year's pole was won by Bobby Labonte at a speed of 184.068 mph.]
"The test went real good," said general manager Greg Moore. "I think we've got a really good shot at making the race. Coming out of the box after being in moth balls for eight months, we feel pretty good about things. I know everyone will be running quicker, probably in the high 29s when we go back, but we think we will, too."
Moore in fully aware that situations change rapidly in the world of NASCAR and eight months can be a lifetime with regards to falling behind the curve. "We were scared that we would go out there and be completely out to lunch," he admitted. "There have been a lot of rules and things that have changed since we've run, and we've got a different driver that we've never worked with before, so we had some major question marks. But I feel like we are going to be OK. I think we have a good shot at making the race if nothing bad happens."
The No. 15 Thunderbird will sport the the same paint scheme exhibited on the team's show car featured at DAYTONA USA interactive attraction located at Daytona International Speedway.
International Speedway Corporation president Bill France explained the reason for the affiliation. "Bud Moore graciously provided a show car for DAYTONA USA before the attraction was even completed," he stated. "When we heard that Bud was fielding a car for the UAW-GM Quality 500, we decided our sponsorship would be a nice way of saying thank you to Bud for helping the attraction with what has become a very popular show car program."
Bud Moore Engineering, unable to secure primary sponsorship for the 1997 Winston Cup season, was forced to cease competition on the circuit after failing to qualify for the season opening Daytona 500. Team owner Bud Moore is hopeful that a strong showing this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway will pave the way to a sponsorship package and a return to the Series full-time in 1998.
Sacks has nine series starts in 1997, driving for various teams including Ranier/Walsh Racing, Team SABCO and LJ Racing. His highest finish is a 25th at Talladega Superspeedway in April.
Lori Vizza -- The Auto Channel