Mooresville, North Carolina (December 17, 2002) - Braun Racing announced today that it will field an entry in the 2003 NASCAR BGN Series with Rookie driver Chad Blount. Last week the team announced that they would field an entry for Steadman Marlin in 2003 with sponsorship from Keystone Light. Blount piloted the #77 Dodge in the ARCA Re/Max Series for Braun Racing during the 2002 season where he impressed many with 4 Wins, 5 Poles and the Rookie of the Year Award.
It was also announced that Blount would be sponsored by American Petroleum Promotions, Inc. (APP) for the 2003 NASCAR BGN Series.`The St. Louis, Missouri based company will feature its APPGAS Prepaid Gas Card on the Braun Racing Dodge and promote its 20% discount on gasoline with this program.
"I am really looking forward to competing at the next level," stated Blount. "I had some good success in ARCA and this is a big move up - but I am ready for the challenge. Once again Braun Racing is giving me an excellent opportunity and will be supplying me with great race cars and qualified people around me. I would like to think that we can be a contender for the Rookie of the Year Award - that would be neat to win it in back to back years.`I am also very excited about representing APP and helping their business grow through this sponsorship program."
"As the President of APP, I can say this has been a long time dream," stated David Comer, President of APP. "We are so excited and look forward to our association with NASCAR, and we are thankful we can be a part of Braun Racing - and certainly we are excited about Chad Blount being the driver of the APPGAS Dodge. I view this opportunity as something that will provide us with a lot of exposure in the marketplace on a worldwide level. What a way to build our business and have fun at the same time."
Blount, 23, burst onto the stock car racing scene with one of the most impressive rookie years in recent history. His 4 wins placed him 2nd in the overall ARCA Re/Max drivers standings and earned him the Rookie of the Year Award in addition to winning the prestigious Superspeedway Challenge Championship - the first rookie to do this since Davey Allison in 1984. Blount's 5 Pole Awards also resulted in 2 new track records - Atlanta Motor Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway.
"We are all excited about this move to the next level," stated team owner Todd Braun. "We feel that Chad has a tremendous amount of talent and a bright future ahead of him in this sport. He has the ability to contend on a weekly basis and it is our job to give him the necessary tools to do just that. The whole Braun Racing organization looks forward to the 2003 NASCAR BGN season with both Chad and Steadman."
Additionally, Patrick Donahue has been hired as Crew Chief for Blount and his APPGAS Dodge. "I have worked with some good young drivers in my career and I feel that Chad ranks up there with the best of them," stated Donahue. "He has a lot of natural ability as a race car driver and I am sure that has a lot to do with his family upbringing as a 4th generation driver. I think we will surprise a lot of people this coming season."
Also, the Braun Racing program will be receiving R&D and technical support from Chip Ganassi Racing along with an engine program with Ernie Elliott engines. The team is currently busy in their Mooresville, North Carolina race facility building a fleet of brand new Dodge's for the 2003 season. The team will begin testing in early January in preparation for Daytona and the entire 2003 season.