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NASCAR: LJ Racing Returns To Its Roots

4 June 1998

Mooresville, NC - Richmond International Raceway represents a 'home' of sorts to the LJ Racing team. It is on the short tracks around Virginia's Capitol City that team owner Joe Falk began his racing career. Starting at the early age of 19, Falk was a successful driver in the NASCAR Winston Racing Series. He won the 1976 Winston Racing Track Championship at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. and finished second in the Virginia State NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Division.

But times have changed for Joe Falk. Today, he finds himself leading an underdog Winston Cup team, week after week, taking on the big teams at their own game. Together with Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Kevin Lepage and veteran Crew Chief Doug Richert (who has led teams to two Winston Cup Championships and one Rookie of the Year Award), Falk is proving that hard work, determination, and an attitude to "never quit" will pay off.

Although the team is still seeking that elusive sponsor, Falk remains confident that things will come around. The teams 'Cinderella' reputation with the media, and the high visibility from continuing to be competitive on the circuit present a golden opportunity for a sponsor. "Because of this teams media exposure and the performance of rookie driver Kevin Lepage, the sponsor that signs on with this team will have more coverage than they will know what to do with."

The LJ Racing team completes testing this week at Pocono International Raceway and will turn their attention to RIR Friday morning. Earlier last month, the team spent two days at Richmond testing, but were rained out much of the time. "A first round qualifying position is at the top of the priority list." Richmond is a tough track, and the extra time spent Saturday on the race setup can make the difference on a good finish.