NASCAR-BGN: Shell Team Wants Monopoly on Darlington Raceway
5 September 1998DARLINGTON, SC - The Shell Pontiac has been to victory lane at Darlington Raceway once already in 1998 when Bobby Labonte won the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 in March. Tony Stewart and the Shell team would like to make it two-for- two in the September 5 Dura Lube 200 for the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series.
"Bobby won the March race at Darlington in convincing style," said Stewart. "We are going to give it our best effort to back up his win with one of our own. That would be a unique record in the BGN to have a team win two events at a track in one year with different drivers. It would be a tremendous credit to my crew chief Bryant Frazier and my guys on the Shell crew."
The race will mark Stewarts first run at Darlington in the Shell Pontiac. He did compete in the Busch event in August, 1996.
"We tested earlier this year at Darlington and were pleased with the results," commented Stewart. But Darlington has the reputation of being a difficult race track. With my limited experience there in a Busch car, its a great confidence booster knowing my team has an extensive knowledge of the track."
"Tony has an excellent opportunity to take the Shell team back to victory lane at Darlington," said Bryant Frazier, crew chief. "With Bobbys win this spring and the testing we have done with Tony, we have a good understanding of the new track layout.. Having both Tony and Bobby racing the Shell Pontiac this season, we have developed the ability to transfer good setup information from one driver to the other. No two drivers have a car set up exactly the same. This team has risen to the challenge of two drivers and gained valuable experience that we are working on translating into consistency at every race. While its never easy, this team has talented team members and good drivers. It would be great to get another win at Darlington with Tony."
Bud Pole Qualifying for the DURA LUBE 200 is set for 2:00 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, September 4. The race is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, September 5. ESPN will televise the race tape delayed beginning at 4:00 p.m. (EDT). MRN will broadcast the race live to over 400 radio station affiliates nationwide.
Shell Oil Company is one of America's leading oil and natural gas producers, manufacturers, transporters and marketers of oil and chemical products. It is a recognized pioneer in technology for oil and gas exploration and the largest gasoline marketer in the United States. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Shell Oil is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies.
In August 1997, Shell announced their title sponsorship program with Joe Gibbs Racing. The Shell car is being driven by NASCAR rookie racing sensation Tony Stewart on the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series.
Shell is the proud sponsor of legendary CART driver Bobby Rahal and his motorsports team, which includes rising star and Rahal protg, Bryan Herta. Shell recently renewed its sponsorship of "Team Rahal" to extend through the end of the century.
CRAIG BREEDLOVE'S SPIRIT OF AMERICA
Shell's sponsorship of Craig Breedlove, the 5-time "World Land Speed" record holder, dates back to the 1960's. Breedlove is the first person ever to break the 400, 500 and 600-mph marks in a land vehicle. Breedlove's jet-powered, 48,000 horsepower Spirit of America runs on Formula Shell Premium Gasoline.
Shell is secondary sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Winston Cup Series Racing team. The Pontiac Grand Prix is driven by Bobby Labonte who has established himself as one of the top drivers in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. The 33-year-old Labonte grabbed his first victory at the 1995 Coca- Cola 600 in Charlotte, North Carolina. To date, he has captured seven wins in NASCARs premier series. Gibbs is the former head coach of the National Football Leagues Washington Redskins and has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Shell is a secondary sponsor of both Joe Gibbs Racing NHRA teams. The Top Fuel car is driven by Cory McClenathan and the Funny Car is driven by Cruz Pedregon. The 35-year-old McClenathan is a 23-time NHRA national event winner. At 34 years old, Pedregon has garnered 19 NHRA national event victories.