BUSCH: Bill Davis Racing 2004 preview

Bill Davis Racing is gearing up for 2004 High Point, NC (Jan. 5, 2004) -- The 2004 racing season is upon us and there are several changes not only for NASCAR, but for Bill Davis Racing as well. In 2004, NASCAR hands over the guard to NEXTEL...

Bill Davis Racing is gearing up for 2004

High Point, NC (Jan. 5, 2004) -- The 2004 racing season is upon us and there are several changes not only for NASCAR, but for Bill Davis Racing as well. In 2004, NASCAR hands over the guard to NEXTEL after longtime supporter Winston bowed out after supporting the series for over 30 years, while Bill Davis Racing has expanded its operation to include two Craftsman Truck Series teams.

Shelby Howard, an Indiana native, will compete in the #23 Toyota truck with Dave Fuge Jr., as his crew chief. Howard began racing at age nine in a sprint car that was owned by his father. He competed in several different series from age 10-15 and in 2000 became the youngest driver to win a feature, breaking the record previously held by NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon. He ran five ARCA races in 2001 and quickly made the transition to heavier stock cars, scoring two top five finishes in those five races. In 2002, Howard ran the full schedule in ARCA and finished fifth in the final standings and then in 2003 became the youngest driver to win a race in the series. He finished the season with three wins, 10 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes and a career-high third in the standings. Its no wonder Davis, who is known to have an eye for talent, chose Howard to pilot one of his trucks.

Bill Lester will drive the #22 Toyota truck for Bill Davis Racing's second entry in the Craftsman Truck Series with the experience of Jeff Hensley as his crew chief. Lester comes to the team with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley. He worked with Hewlett-Packard Company while competing on the weekends in several divisions around the California area. He quit his job in the mid-80's to race full-time in the SCCA series. He raced in the 24 Hours of Daytona four times and later made his way into the NASCAR community when he competed in a Busch race at Watkins Glen in 1999. He sporadically raced in the truck series until getting a full-time ride in 2002 with Bobby Hamilton Racing. He raced two full seasons, scoring his first pole in 2003 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Kenny Wallace returns to the NASCAR Busch Series in 2004 with Stacker 2 backing the #23 Chevrolet. Wallace has amassed 10 poles, nine wins, 58 top-five and 131 top-10's in his Busch Series career. The #23 will return with the same Busch team that led Scott Wimmer to victory lane five times in the last two seasons. Chris Rice will return as crew chief for the #23 Stacker 2 team.

Scott Wimmer will compete for Rookie of the Year honors in the #22 Caterpillar Dodge under the tutelage of Frank Stoddard. The team got a jumpstart on the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season after competing in the final four races of 2003. Wimmer scored his first top 10 finish in just his second start with the team. The crew kicks off Daytona testing this week with Wimmer behind the wheel for just one day, before heading off to Las Vegas to get married to longtime girlfriend Jody Ambrose. Dave Blaney will fill in for the final two days of testing for Wimmer.

Dave Blaney will also test the #23 NEXTEL Cup entry at Daytona International Speedway for Bill Davis Racing in preparation for the 2004 Speedweeks. Discussions regarding sponsorship for the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series are ongoing and once they have been finalized, an announcement will be made at that time.

-bdr-

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Series NASCAR-CUP , NASCAR-NS , NASCAR-TRUCK