NASCAR BGN Series ACDelco 200 Preview: #96, Stevie Reeves
23 October 1997
#96 Stevie Reeves, #96 Big A Auto Parts Ford Thunderbird NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division ACDelco 200 Advance North Carolina Motor Speedway STEVIE REEVES NOTES & QUOTES: ACDELCO 200 ROCKINGHAM, NC - Stevie Reeves and the Big A Auto Parts Ford team head into Rockingham's North Carolina Motor Speedway this week continuing their battle to finish the season in the top 20 of the NASCAR Busch Grand National standings, but pleased to be moving towards one of the team's better speedways. Reeves has led Busch Grand National events before at Rockingham, and knows what it's like to run with the leaders at one of motorsports' more difficult tracks. Though coming off a disappointing finish last week at California Speedway, the Big A Auto Parts Ford was obviously one of the better cars in the event. A burned wheel bearing cost the team more than 40 laps -- nearly one-third of the race -- in repair time in the garage. The Big A Auto Parts Ford team had qualified sixth for the 300-mile event at California, a remarkable feat of prowess for a team in its first full season of Busch Grand National racing at a tour event's inaugural event. 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 away 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 Performance Group 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 Rockingham: "This is going to be a tough week for everybody in the Busch series. We're coming off four days of racing, plus a day of travel coming and a day of travel going, to California. A lot of people flew and a lot of people 'red-eyed' their way back home. The trucks, most of them wont' get back home until probably Wednesday. About all you can do is load up what you have for Rockingham and head on down there. "It's a really tough swing for everybody. California is a tremendous facility and I think everybody in the Busch Series was really happy to run there. Besides the fact it's one of the nicest race tracks you'll ever find, it's in the middle of a very important market area for everybody's sponsor. I know Big A Auto Parts was excited to be running out there. But it still makes it really tough to turn everything around and get back. "That might help us some for Rockingham. It has usually been a pretty good track for us. For whatever reason, we've always run pretty well there. Our luck hasn't always been the greatest but we've always had some pretty good cars there. We have a pretty good idea of what we're going to do with the setup heading into Rockingham. Let's face it, the last thing on earth you want to do is start scraping around for some ideas on setup when half the guys and the teams are yawning and the other half is trying not to look at them because they'll start yawning, too. "Sometimes you just have to suck it up and go, and this is one of those times. You have to shake off the effects of the travel and do whatever it takes to get the car ready to run this race. You can't think about it, can't talk about it, can't let it affect you at all. If you do, you're beat before you even start. We'll just do whatever it takes through the next week, and then we have a weekend off before we finish up the season at Miami. After that, we have the time to rest. EVerybody is going to be working to make sure the rest part doesn't start until it's time to rest. "We're fortunate we have a pretty good record at Rockingham. We know how we're going to start and in what direction we'll take the setup if that doesn't work quite right for us. There isn't going to be a whole of time to do much of anything. As tired as everyone is going to be, we only have a few hours of practice time to get the car right. We qualify and get maybe a half an hour at the end of the day Friday, then race Saturday. "We were hoping for one other advantage that didn't quite work out. I was scheduled for a Big A Auto Parts appearance in Yucca City, California last week. We looked at a map and noticed it was near Joshua Tree, California. Now Joshua Tree is where UFO's go if they can't get motel reservations in New Mexico. So I got to thinking, there was a Winston Cup driver who said he might have been picked up by aliens and, for what I've seen, he's been running pretty well ever since. Now I figured he was probably joking about the aliens, but, then again, if he had picked up an advantage, he wasn't going to tell anybody about it now, was he? Hey, it was hang the "Joshua Tree Or Bust' sign in the rental car and head out there time. My luck, no aliens. Not even scary airplanes. I would have killed for just one of those weather balloons they're always talking about with UFO's. "The only little green men we got were two pit crew guys on the red-eye Sunday night when the airplane hit some turbulence. "We still feel this Big A Auto Parts Ford will be somebody to keep an eye on in Rockingham, aliens or not." By Williams Company of America, Inc.