ST. THOMAS, ON (April 16, 2003) - The 2003 racing season will be a season of change for CASCAR Super Series veteran Pete Vanderwyst. The St. Thomas, ON racer had originally planned to race in the ISA with possible primary sponsorship from KFC and...
ST. THOMAS, ON (April 16, 2003) - The 2003 racing season will be a season of change for CASCAR Super Series veteran Pete Vanderwyst. The St. Thomas, ON racer had originally planned to race in the ISA with possible primary sponsorship from KFC and associate backing from Sealy's feather-pillow division.
But as everyone is now aware, the 'chicken and feathers' plan didn't pan out, and now Vanderwyst is wholeheartedly committed to growing both his Vanderwyst Motorsports team, and CASCAR, to their fullest potential.
For the first time in his Super Series career - which started back in 1995 - Vanderwyst finds himself without secured sponsorship with just a month to go before the first CASCAR Super Series event. Looking back over the years - first with Loctite and then with Exide - Vanderwyst Motorsports has an impressive record of long and successful relationships with companies that have been interested in marketing and hospitality programs centered around Canada's top racing series and one of its best equipped and most successful teams.
"We've been informed by Exide that they will not be returning as primary sponsor of our car for 2003," said Vanderwyst, who noted that Exide will, however, be the team's sponsor for the Super Series season opener, at Delaware Speedway, on the May long weekend. "We certainly appreciate their support in seasons past, as well as their continued backing of the team for our first race at Delaware. We're looking at their decision not to return for the full season as an opportunity for another company to take advantage of the opening. We're giving formal notice that we're actively looking for a new corporate partner to team up with Vanderwyst Motorsports."
Vanderwyst believes his team has a lot to offer. "With the announcement that CASCAR will be returning to the Toronto and Vancouver Molson Indys - and the Super Series' impressive television numbers on both Sportsnet and SPEED - I believe Vanderwyst Motorsports offers great value to a corporate partner through our participation in the CASCAR Super Series. We have great equipment, a great team and a big passion for racing. We also offer a high profile and a track record of crafting and delivering programs that work for our partners."
Fans looking to keep track of Vanderwyst will notice that the team has gone 'back to the future' for 2003 and will sport the number '77' which it wore with pride through to the conclusion of the 2000 season, prior to changing due to sponsorship commitments. "We're going to go to Delaware with our #77 Pontiac Grand Prix and we're excited for the start of the racing season," said Vanderwyst, who noted that his crew - who are also looking forward to racing in the CASCAR Super Series - didn't have any say in his decision of last fall.
"I met with Tony Novotny [CASCAR President] at the CASCAR office and we had a good discussion. CASCAR is the series to be in and that's where I want to be. I considered other series in the U.S., but my 'heart' and my supporters are in Canada, and racing 'at home' is important to me."
At this point in time, Vanderwyst is certain about his participation in the season-opening CASCAR Super Series event at London's Delaware Speedway, on May 16-18. Beyond that, his plans will hinge on his efforts to secure sponsorship. "I'm sure there will be a lot of interest in us being there at the first race. Not to dwell on the past, but I did what I did based on what I thought was for the betterment of Canadian racing and racers. I wasn't a shareholder in the ISA, but I participated in the Technical Committee to try and develop something that was beneficial for the competitors. Decisions were made based on incorrect information. Mistakes were made, and now it's time to move on and focus our efforts on building stock car racing through CASCAR."