NASCAR BGN Series Jiffy Lube Miami 300 Preview: #96 Stevie Reeves
5 November 1997
#96 Stevie Reeves, Big A Auto Parts Ford Thunderbird NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Jiffy Lube Miami 300 Advance Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex STEVIE REEVES NOTES & QUOTES: JIFFY LUBE MIAMI 300 HOMESTEAD, FL - With the NASCAR Busch Grand National season coming to a close at Homestead (Fla.) Motorsports Complex on Sunday, November 9, driver Stevie Reeves and the Big A Auto Parts Ford team look at the race from two standpoints -- the end of 1997 and the start of 1998. Set for 1998, Reeves, crew chief John Birosh and sponsor Big A Auto Parts will be together again -- that was just announced a little over a week ago. Though in its first full season of Busch Grand National racing, the team has remained solidly locked in the top 20 of the national standings throughout the year. Reeves and the team have seen several speedways this season for the very first time, but have been able to overcome the general lack of knowledge and finished well enough to maintain their spot among the elite of the sport. 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 Homestead: "For a lot of us, Homestead is the start of 1998. We were able to announce a little over a week ago that Big A Auto Parts would be back in Busch racing on an even bigger level than this year in 1998, and we're pretty excited about that. We've already got an eye on 1998. "The racing season never really ends. You run the last race of one year, spend December and January getting ready for the next year, and start racing in February. It never stops and, the way racers are, that's probably the best thing. We'll leave Homestead and head back to North Carolina, and continue working on what we're going to do in 1998. Maybe we'll take a half day on Christmas or something, and then get back to the shop. I go to the shop every day I can, and the guys are in there every day, too. "We're looking at Homestead from two angles. Sure, we want to have a great run there, qualify well and run well. It would be great to walk away from Homestead with a win but a really strong run wouldn't be bad either. The worst thing that can happen to any team is run badly in the last race of the year. You have to sit there and brood about it for two months. Running really well in the last race of the season can carry you for two months. It gives the team a real lift, something that lasts for a good while. "Everybody's first goal at Homestead is to win the thing. That's no big surprise. But you're next goal is to have a really good weekend. The momentum can mean so much to a racing team for a long, long time. It can carry you through the rough times of the off-season and, when you're working some late hours on a cold, December night, that good run at Homestead can mean a lot to you. "They might not drop the ball in Times Square for a couple of months but 1998 begins at Homestead. We have to be ready to throw the confetti, sing 'Auld Lang Syne' and kiss the girls at midnight starting now. The way racing is these days, nobody can afford to wait until January. If you're not ready to go by the time the bowl games are being played, you won't be ready to go by the time Daytona rolls around. "The Big A Auto Parts Ford team is going to be ready for Homestead, and we're going to be ready for 1998 at the same time." By Williams Company of America, Inc.