Report from Motorsport News International
Thanks to NASCAR Online
Team 34 looks to '98 with Hutter By Shawn A. Akers NASCAR Online
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 3, 1997) Team 34 is taking an entirely new approach to the 1998 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division as far as the No. 36 Stanley Tools Pontiac is concerned. Owner Frank Cicci leaned on an old friend this year in Todd Bodine to take the team to the top. Bodine has responded by challenging Randy LaJoie for the NASCAR Busch Series championship. Next season, however, Cicci will turn to a youngster with no previous NASCAR Busch Series experience. Matt Hutter, a crew member for the No. 4 Phoenix Racing team and driver of the Phoenix Racing Chevrolet in the ARCA Series, will step behind the wheel. He'll be joined by a lot of enthusiasm and high expectations. "When we started looking for a driver, we wanted someone who was a racer, who could do the best for our sponsor, and we think we have found that in Matt Hutter," Cicci said. "His father (engine builder Ron Hutter) has been providing our team's engines since we started racing. We hope to win poles, win races and get our sponsor on television. We think Matt can do that." Hutter comes to the NASCAR Busch Series with impressive racing credentials. He had a top-5 finish in the season-finale ARCA race last season at Atlanta. He has also secured one ARCA Series pole this season (at Charlotte in May) and has one top-5 and another top-10 finish. He competed in the NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro Series in 1996, where he won a pole at Nashville Speedway USA and the season finale at Homestead, Fla. The 26-year-old also graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BBA in business from the University of Cincinnati "To drive for a sponsor like Stanley, with such a strong, successful racing reputation is a dream come true," Hutter said. "With the abundance of knowledge and experience of the guys at Team 34 Racing, I will have no problem getting acclimated to the Busch Series level of competition." "Matt has the ability, raw talent and feel for the race car," said Clyde McLeod, Team Manager for Team 34 Racing. "All he needs is track experience." Stanley and Team 34 will enter their second year together for the 1998 season. Team 34 has competed in NASCAR since 1986, and Stanley first sponsored a NASCAR Busch Series car in 1992.