Xpress Motorsports Announce Y2K Plans

Mooresville, NC (Nov. 29, 1999) - Xpress Motorsports, the team that fielded the No. 61 IWX Motor Freight Pontiac in a complete 32-race NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division schedule in 1999, is putting the finishing touches on its year 2000 program. Veteran driver Hut Stricklin will campaign the No. 61 Pontiac in a complete NASCAR Busch Series schedule. "Overall, I believe we can be satisfied with what we are building here," said team manager Dave Fuge. "The NASCAR Busch Series is a very tough division of racing. We not only competed at every race this year, but we have built a very good team both in equipment and also in key people. That speaks volumes for team owner Steve Coulter, as he has made sure that we have had everything here that we need and now we've completed that with a driver capable of winning in this division. "I believe to take this to the next level, we need a good, experienced driver," he continued. "Hut will be able to take what we've built here and move us towards the front of the field. I think Hut is the final link this team needs to winning races." Stricklin, 38, brings many years of NASCAR Winston Cup experience to the Xpress Motorsports team. A native of Calera, Ala., Stricklin has 264 career NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts. He has 28 top-10 finished since his Winston Cup career began in 1987. Prior to Winston Cup Series racing, Stricklin won the 1986 Goody's Dash Series Championship and numerous divisional racing championships in Alabama. Along with making the announcement about Stricklin as the driver, the team is also making a change in the crew chief position. Craig Huartson will assume the crew chief position with the team effective immediately. Dave Fuge will continue as the team manager for Xpress Motorsports. "Craig has done a great job since joining our team this summer," continued Fuge. "He has all the leadership qualities that a crew chief needs. I think he is just what our team needs at this time, and this will allow me to better develop the business end of the team and other future endeavors." Huartson, 41, has been the car chief for Xpress Motorsports since July. Prior to coming to Xpress, Huartson was the Technical Support Group Manager for Diamond Ridge Motorsports since 1997. Huartson, a native of Bellingham, Wash., has been active in racing in the Northwest since he was 14-years-old and did some driving in NASCAR Northwest Tour action and did have a few rides in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series during its first year, 1995. The team is actively seeking sponsorship programs for next season and beyond. While that search is ongoing, the crew is busy rebuilding the fleet of eight Pontiac cars that Stricklin will have at his disposal next season. The NASCAR Busch Series year 2000 schedule begins on Feb. 19 at the famed Daytona International Speedway with the NAPA 300.