Donlavey Racing signs a partnership with C.F. Sauer Company, condiment manufacturer, for the No. 90 Ford Taurus for the 2002 season.
In October of this season, Donlavey teamed up with driver Rick Mast to finish out the 2001 season starting with Phoenix. On that weekend, Hills Brothers (sponsor) pulled out for the remainder of the season leaving with the former driver Hut Sticklin. Prior to Phoenix, Mast had attempted to qualify a back-up car (No. 91) for Donlavey Racing.
Mast finished the season with Donlavey starting at Phoenix where he finished 25th on the lead lap - the best finish in the final five races. The team did not qualify at Rockingham II, Atlanta II or Homestead. Prior to Mast coming on board, Stricklin did not qualify for ten races.
The team hopes to turn their luck around for the 2002 season. They believe the word "Virginia" might do the trick. Mast is from Rockbridge Baths, Donlavey is from Richmond where the team is based, and C.F. Sauer's headquarters is in Richmond.
"For the 52 years I've been in racing, I've wanted to field an all-Virginia team," said Donlavey. "I reckon if you wait and work long enough, your dreams can come true."
At the age of 16, Mast sold a cow to get his first race car so he could start his career. Mast has had an up and down career from winning races in every series, but not a single one in Winston Cup. From sitting on the pole (four in Winston Cup) to not qualifying.
"Well, not since I traded a cow to get my first race car have I felt so much enthusiasm and contentment as I do with this team," Mast said.
C.F. Sauer is not new to racing as they sponsored the No. 27 of Eel River Racing prior to the team's shutting it's doors during the 2001 season.