Daytona Beach, FL- Christmas has come early for Grand-Am GTS Series Champion Chris Bingham. Bingham and Jay Robinson Racing join forces for the 2003 NASCAR Busch Grand National season.
Bingham, in Daytona testing for the upcoming ARCA 200, has signed to drive the Jay Robinson No. 49 NASCAR BGN Ford for the 2003 season.
Winston Cup driver and TV analyst Derrick Cope will serve as a driver consultant for Bingham in 2003.
"I'm looking forward to driving for Jay Robinson in 2003," stated Bingham, a native of Bellevue, Washington. "We worked well together during the Daytona test, and I believe his program has all of the elements necessary to be competitive."
Jay Robinson, owner of the No. 49 BGN Ford was impressed with Bingham's first outing in a stock car.
"Chris adapted to the car and track very well," said Robinson, who has a history of developing young drivers. "It was a pleasure to work with him this past weekend and I was impressed with his feel for the car."
Bingham has retained fellow Washington native Derrick Cope as a consultant for his racing program.
"Chris called me last February with some questions regarding sponsorship," said Cope, the 1990 winner of the Daytona 500. "Eventually our conversations led to NASCAR, and how Chris could begin a career in stock cars," added Cope.
Cope who will run his own Winston Cup team in selected events, plans to enter Bingham in five events in 2003.
"It's a natural fit to put Chris in one of my cars for the two Winston Cup road races," said Cope. "Additionally we plan to run him in three or more events over and above the road courses."
Bingham's entry into NASCAR will be supported by a Seattle based investment group led by Vernon Horton Smith. Sponsorship for the Jay Robinson Racing No. 49 BGN Ford and the additional Winston Cup events is being pursued, and Bingham looks forward to making an announcement before the start of the season.