Asheville, NC - After a sudden cease in operations for Cal Well's PPI Racing NASCAR Busch Series Team, half way through the 2000 season, former Toyota Atlantic Champion Driver Anthony Lazzaro, didn't know whether or not he'd ever get the chance to...
Asheville, NC - After a sudden cease in operations for Cal Well's PPI Racing NASCAR Busch Series Team, half way through the 2000 season, former Toyota Atlantic Champion Driver Anthony Lazzaro, didn't know whether or not he'd ever get the chance to compete in the NASCAR ranks again.
In no more than half a season, Lazzaro was able to make the Busch field for 10 of the 13 races, his PPI Racing Team qualified for. But unfortunately, PPI had other plans for their newly acquired NASCAR operations. So Anthony, hungry to get behind the wheel again, chose to sharpen his skills throughout the remainder of the 2000 season competing in the ALMS series.
Late last summer, Asheville, North Carolina, based TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc., owned by Tom Coleman, who's team has over 15 years of experience in SCCA, ALMS, USAC, IMSA, Grand-Am and Trans-Am, decided to test Lazzaro in their Trans-Am car with hopes of landing a sponsor for the 2001 Trans-Am Season.
But, as the motorsport's gods would have it, the sponsorship deals began to unravel. And although Coleman and Lazzaro continued to talk, the hopes of finding funding to join TWC's expertise and Anthony Lazzaro's experience began to fade.
That is until this spring when Dave Marcis, long time Winston Cup driver and team owner of the RealTree Racing Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo, based out of Arden, North Carolina, offered Coleman the opportunity to purchase one of his 2001 Winston Cup Chevrolet Monte Carlos.
This was the opportunity Coleman had been considering for years. "When we tested Anthony and Ron Fellows last Fall, there was no doubt in my mind Anthony could drive," Coleman said, "we just had to find the right deal at the right time. Anthony is fast, technically in tune with the racecar and has the experience and the desire to be a winner. Just look at his record and you'll see...this guy's the real deal."
The TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc., NASCAR Winston Cup Chevrolet Monte Carlo will make its debut at both Sears Point and Watkins Glen this season.
Lazzaro, who has won in everything he's run from WKA, Formula Fords, and including winning the 1999 Toyota Atlantic Championship, will bring his over 14 years of road course racing experience, to the two tracks he has had success with in the past as well.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to get back into NASCAR again," Lazzaro said, "and I couldn't ask for a better team than TWC Motorsport, Ltd., Inc. I've known Tom (Coleman) for quite some time and he's always got the best equipment and a great crew. I won't sugar coat this...it isn't going to be easy; NASCAR is the premier series in North America. Qualifying for any race in Winston Cup is an enormous hurdle in itself. But once we finish testing, we'll have the information we need to make sure this car's ready for the big leagues. And if we can just make the field in both events, I see no reason why we can't compete nose-to-nose with those guys at Sears Point and Watkins Glen."
Look for the #68 Chevrolet Monte Carlo during both races this season. Future plans also include running a limited NASCAR schedule next year with the hopes of competing full time in 2003 and beyond.