Sam Belnavis, Travis Carter form new team

STATESVILLE, N.C. (January 13, 2003) -- Sam Belnavis and Travis Carter announced today the formation of BelCar Racing. The minority-owned organization will field the No. 54 Army National Guard Ford Taurus driven by Todd Bodine for the entire 2003...

STATESVILLE, N.C. (January 13, 2003) -- Sam Belnavis and Travis Carter announced today the formation of BelCar Racing. The minority-owned organization will field the No. 54 Army National Guard Ford Taurus driven by Todd Bodine for the entire 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.

Belnavis, the majority shareholder, intends on making a long-term impact with BelCar Racing by being the first minority-owned team in NASCAR's 55-year history to run a full schedule in the series top division. "Our involvement in racing is focused on enhancing the diversity effort in NASCAR as well as increasing the recruitment efforts and retention rates of our primary advertiser, the Army National Guard," said Belnavis, chairman of BelCar Racing. "The Army National Guard, along with our driver, Todd Bodine and the resources that Travis Carter brings with him, are helping us lay the groundwork for a successful future in Winston Cup racing."

Having been around motorsports for more than 20 years as an executive with the Miller Brewing Company, Belnavis has been involved in several significant industry sponsorships. The Charlotte, N.C., resident brought Miller into the world of racing signing NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Bobby Allison to run the No. 22 Miller High Life Oldsmobile. "I'm committed," added Belnavis. "My background in sports marketing and motorsports has given me an understanding of what it takes to be a championship caliber organization. It takes a lot of hard work, the proper resources and dedication. That's what BelCar Racing is all about."

Carter, who will oversee race operations, also boasts an impressive NASCAR resume. Carter's 32-year career includes winning the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship in his rookie year as crew chief for Benny Parsons. After working as crew chief for drivers Bobby Allison, Harry Gant, Rick Mast, Cale Yarborough and Benny Parsons, he joined the owner ranks in 1989 and has amassed six pole positions and more than $18 million in career earnings. "Sam and I have a lot in common as we are both eager for success," remarked Carter.

"With our combined resources, I know we'll achieve the goals set for BelCar Racing in 2003."

In preparations for the upcoming season, the No. 54 Army National Guard team will conduct test sessions at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and North Carolina Speedway. The track time has Bodine excited to get back to work.

"I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity," said Bodine. "I have driven for Travis for the last two years and know he has the equipment already in place to be competitive. Sam brings a new and valuable perspective to this team and I am looking forward to driving for BelCar Racing. The timing of this announcement is perfect. It gives us every opportunity to test and prepare for this season which will get us in better position to win."

BelCar Racing will operate out of the Travis Carter Enterprises complex located here.

-bc-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Todd Bodine , Rick Mast , Benny Parsons , Bobby Allison , Harry Gant , Cale Yarborough