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NASCAR BGN/Trucks: Xpress Motorsports Team Looks to 1999

15 September 1998

Derrike Cope to drive in limited Busch Series, Grand National Division schedule

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Xpress Motorsports, the team which fields the No. 61 IWX Motor Freight NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Chevrolet, plans a limited (15-20 races) Busch Series, Grand National Division schedule for next season with NASCAR Winston Cup driver Derrike Cope at the controls. Also, a limited Winston Cup schedule (driver and dates to be determined) is on the drawing boards for the team.

"We see this as an opportunity to continue growing our team," said Steve Coulter, owner of Xpress Motorsports. "We feel we have assembled a great team under the leadership of Dave Fuge. This arrangement for next year will allow us to compete on a level with the best in the industry. That really has a lot of appeal to me and I'm looking forward to the challenge"

Xpress Motorsports is in its third season of competition on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The team was formed in 1996 with Dave Fuge joining the team midway through 1997 as crew chief and team manager. From that point forward the team has been improving and getting stronger in performance and in personnel and equipment.

"I'm personally looking forward to this for many reasons," said Fuge,43, a former Winston Cup team owner (Tri-Star Motorsports). "Derrike and I came east together in 1987. It's very exciting because with everything we have here at Xpress Motorsports and Derrike as our driver, I know we can put together a winning effort."

"Dave and I were together when I started in racing," said Cope. "We always have talked about the chance to work together again. Everything has come into place for it to be the right time. Dave has assembled a great team at Xpress Motorsports. Actually, many of the guys there are from the Northwest and people I know real well. All the resources are in place for us to get back together again and run very competitively."

A final schedule, sponsorship program and further details of the program are currently being formulated.

Fuge and Tolsma Discuss Changes at Xpress Motorsport

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - It has been two days since Xpress Motorsports, the team that fields the No. 61 IWX Motor Freight Chevrolet on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for driver Randy Tolsma, announced plans for the 1999 racing season. The team will compete in a limited (15-20 races) Busch Series, Grand National Division schedule with NASCAR Winston Cup driver Derrike Cope at the controls. A limited NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule is also planned.

"The timing of this has been pretty good," said Dave Fuge, team manager and crew chief for the team. "In racing there are so many rumors and stories that can get make the rounds. Here we are in early September and we know what we are doing next season.

"It has been especially great news for our crew," he continued. "They don't have to worry about what is happening with our team next year. We have had meetings throughout the past month letting them know what our options have been. Now that we have a plan in place, they know that next year is set and we can continue with our objectives for the balance of this season."

Those objectives: win NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races and try to get into the top-five in series point standing.

Driver Randy Tolsma obviously has been effected by the teams decision and he is considering a number of options for next year.

"Steve Coulter (team owner) has given me this opportunity and I am very appreciative of that," said Tolsma, winner of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event in Bakersfield, Calif. last season. "The team has made a decision to go Grand National racing. This is a great team and I know they are going to have some great success there.

"That puts me in a positions where I'm looking at a lot of options," he continued. "On Thursday in Richmond when the announcement was made, I didn't know what to expect. I am very encouraged by everything. I have been approached with numerous opportunities that I will be considering in the weeks to come.

"Nobody like to be out of a job," he continued. "But, it's September and a lot of decisions for next season are being made currently. From what I heard in Richmond, I feel like I'm going to have some very good options to consider for next season and I'm happy that is the case. Randy Tolsma will be racing in NASCAR next year and for years to come.

"Currently, I also want to focus on the task at hand," he continued. "We are a very strong truck team, capable of winning some races before this season is over. That's what I'm looking to do. We were very strong at Richmond coming from a lap behind to finish in the seventh spot. It was a great comeback for this team and a strong indication of what we are looking to accomplish in the remaining races this season."