... and The Drum Roll Please...
The Hungry Drivers Racing Program and Evernham Motorsports Name Paul Wolfe As Primary Driver of the No. 6 Dodge For The 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Season
Darlington, SC (November 12, 2004) --Unilever Foods Division and Evernham Motorsports announced today that Paul Wolfe has been named as the primary "hungry" driver of the No. 6 Hungry Drivers Dodge for the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series season.
Plans call for Wolfe to drive the No. 6 Dodge in a majority of the Busch companion events, allowing him to run for the Rookie of the Year title. The Hungry Drivers program will continue its theme of discovering up-and-coming talent by choosing additional "hungry" drivers to showcase their skills in a number of the NASCAR Busch Series stand-alone events. Elton Sawyer will lead the team as Team Director.
Wolfe's performance in the No. 6 Hungry Drivers Dodge in 2004 was impressive for a rookie driver with only two previous NASCAR Busch Series starts. In three starts he posted two top-20 finishes including 18th place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and 12th place at New Hampshire International Raceway.
Lisa Klauser, Vice President Integrated Marketing Capabilities, Unilever Foods Division, said that it was his performance both on and off the track that convinced sponsoring brands Ragu® pasta sauce, Hellmann's® mayonnaise and Shedd's Spread Country Crock® spread that Wolfe was the man for the job.
"This young man has represented us so well this year both on and off the track," said Klauser. "He is everything we are looking for in a spokesperson for our brands --talented, family-oriented, ambitious and determined to succeed. We know that he will put 110% into continuing to make this program successful."
With the new addition of the Busch team for Evernham Motorsports, Ray Evernham says the Hungry Drivers program will provide young drivers the opportunity to showcase their talents, such as Paul Wolfe has in 2004.
"In the Hungry Drivers program, Paul has demonstrated to our partner, Unilever Foods, that he belongs in a race car," said Evernham. "Evernham Motorsports is looking forward to working with him and developing his talents as the primary driver of the No. 6 Hungry Drivers Dodge."
For Wolfe, being named as the primary driver for Evernham Motorsports' first full-time NASCAR Busch Series effort is truly a dream come true.
"Ray Evernham is a leader in the industry, one that has seen tremendous success as a crew chief and now as a team owner," said Wolfe. "Personally, he is someone I have looked up to since I was a young boy. There is such a tremendous pool of talent at his organization with drivers Kasey Kahne, Jeremy Mayfield and Bill Elliott and I intend to take full advantage of that -- learning as much as possible so that I can continue to grow my abilities as a driver."
Wolfe also looks forward to his continuing involvement in the Hungry Drivers program.
"I am so proud to have the opportunity to represent great brands like Ragu®, Hellmann's®, Country Crock®, Lawry's® and Lipton®. The Hungry Drivers program is truly one-of-a-kind because it gives hopeful drivers like myself the opportunity of a lifetime. I look forward to learning a lot from Elton and to bringing the Hungry Drivers program and Evernham Motorsports their first of many NASCAR Busch Series victories in 2005!
Paul Wolfe's racing career began with a single go-kart race when he was ten years old. While Wolfe did not win that first race, he wasn't discouraged. He gained something even more valuable that day -- the knowledge that his future was in racing.
In 1996, Wolfe left his hometown of Milford, NY for North Carolina in hopes of furthering his racing career. He landed a job as a fabricator for Joe Gibbs Racing where he worked for four years. In what spare time he had, Wolfe raced in area late model races.
In 2000, Wolfe made his debut in the Busch North Series where he competed regularly for the next three years. With his strong performances every week, Wolfe earned a reputation as a promising up-and-coming talent and caught a lot of people's attention, including Nextel Cup crew chief and NASCAR Busch Series car owner, Tommy Baldwin. Baldwin became a mentor to Wolfe and in 2003 offered him the opportunity to compete in his first NASCAR Busch Series event at the Dover International Speedway in September. In his first series start, Wolfe recorded a 16th place finish and followed it up with a 19th place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway in November.
Impressed by Wolfe's performance, Baldwin signed Wolfe to be one of four drivers to compete in his Hungry Drivers program, which allowed four up and coming drivers to compete in three races each during the 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season.