Long-Time Stock Car Sponsor Supports Spice #47 in Rolex 24

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 4 - With the Grand American Road Racing Series being run by the France family, there are a few stock car names evident at this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway, North American's premier sports car endurance event. One of the most prominent is "Pharo's Truckstop," the business of long-time NASCAR Busch Grand National team owner John "Smokey" Pharo at Exit 10 of Interstate 81 in Shippensburg, Pa.

In the past Pharo fielded stock cars for such drivers as Ed Berrier, Frank Fleming, Dick Trickle, Jim Sauter, Brad Teague and Shawna Robinson, among others. This weekend he is one of the associate sponsors of the Racestar Motorsports Flo-Tec & Jack's Magic Products Spice Chevy #47 driven by Richard Dill (Orlando, Fla.), John Thomas (Clearwater, Fla.), Todd Vallancourt (Orlando, Fla.) and Ken Stiver (Avon, Ind.).

Pharo's sponsorship deal is based on paying for some crash damage if it should occur while Stiver is behind the wheel.

"Whatever you do, don't crash," Pharo told him as he has told the other drivers he has worked with. "If you do, I'll be driving that car next year."

Anyone who knows Pharo knows not to put that past him. On a dare he recently picked up the dirt-track late model stock car career he started back in the sixties at Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Md. At the age of 57, he ended up winning three V8 pure stock features and the division's sportsmanship award for 1999.

"Heck, I was almost Rookie of the Year," Pharo joked.

The start of the Rolex 24 is scheduled to be shown live tomorrow from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on ESPN2, with additional live coverage slated for the same network Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A highlights show is also planned for ESPN at a later date.