Bickle enters ASA Concord race

Bickle latest to enter BFGoodrich Tires 250 at Concord. Pendleton, IN (April 16, 2003) -- NASCAR Truck Series standout Rich Bickle will be among those drivers on hand for Saturday night's BFGoodrich Tires 250 at Concord Motorsport Park. The...

Bickle latest to enter BFGoodrich Tires 250 at Concord.

Pendleton, IN (April 16, 2003) -- NASCAR Truck Series standout Rich Bickle will be among those drivers on hand for Saturday night's BFGoodrich Tires 250 at Concord Motorsport Park. The former short-track ace from Edgerton, Wis. will drive a second car from the Wood Brothers Racing stable.

"This will be my first race in one of the new ASA cars," Bickle said. "I drove one of them last year at Madison, and it was a lot of fun. I'm looking at this as a chance to help Wood Brothers Racing, to help ASA and to have some fun."

Bickle and Wood's father Jerry grew up together in Wisconsin and have remained close friends. "I'm trying to help that team improve a little with their program, and Chad had a great run at Houston Motor Speedway (April 12)," Bickle said.

Bickle last raced in ASA in 1997, finishing third at Wisconsin International Raceway. Post-race technical inspection, however, turned up a non-conforming part on Bickle's car and he was disqualified. Prior to that event, Bickle raced with ASA in 1993 at Madison International Raceway, finishing ninth in the Yamaha Corporation Oldsmobile.

His best career finish came April 22, 1990, when he was second to Gary St. Amant in the season-opening Buckeye 300 at Columbus Motor Speedway. That season, Bickle was locked in a tight battle with Johnny Benson for the Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of the Year award until the series rolled into Winchester (Ind.) Speedway for the 15th of the scheduled 17 races. A blown engine in practice cut short Bickle's season, as he missed that event and the final two at Nashville and Jennerstown. Bickle earned four top-five and six top-10 finishes that season, finishing ninth in the series points. In all, Bickle has competed in 25 ASA Racing Series events, earning eight top-five finishes, six top-10 results and $74,890 in prize money.

Coming to Concord, where Bickle won two Big Ten late model series titles, he is confident of a good result. "It's a great facility, they've always pulled in a big crowd, and I think the racing will be extremely competitive," Bickle said. "I haven't raced one of the new ASA cars [with the ASA 5700 engines and BFGoodrich Traction T/A radial tires] there, but I have had a lot of success at Concord."

Mindful of the new cars, Bickle said Concord will be a momentum track for the ASA Racing Series. "From Turn 1 over Turn 2, it's definitely a momentum track," he said. "Even coming down into Turn 3, it's a momentum track. Turn 3 is a fairly sharp corner, so you've got to get it right to get through there fast."

As a veteran of the Charlotte market, Bickle thinks ASA will be a big hit at Concord. "This is a racing place, and the fans here are pretty excited about it," he said. "I think ASA will go real well down here."

Bickle currently drives the No. 9 Fasscore Motorsports Ford truck out of his own shops in Mooresville, N.C. In his most recent outing, Bickle drove to a eighth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, bumping him up 10 spots in the point standings to 27th. He has made two starts this season, the first coming at Daytona International Speedway . He finished 19th after getting caught up in a last-lap crash.

For his career, Bickle has raced in 64 Truck Series events, winning three races in 1997. He finished second to champion Jack Sprague in series points in '97 on the strength of those victories, 15 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. He also won four of his six poles that season, driving Darrell Waltrip's Die Hard Chevrolet. For his career, Bickle has amassed 21 top-five and 32 top-10 finishes in those 64 races.

He made his first NASCAR Winston Cup start in 1989 and ran nearly the full season in 1999, starting 24 races for Tyler Jet Motorsports in the 10-10-345 Pontiac. In 1998, Bickle earned two of his three career top-10 finishes and finished 38th in the points for Cale Yarborough's team. He started 21 races and earned his lone career top-five finish, a fourth at Martinsville. In all, Bickle has started 85 Winston Cup events.

In 2001, Bickle drove Tad Geshickter's No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal/MatchLight Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series. In 25 starts, Bickle earned three top-10 finishes and finished 24th in the points.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck , Stock car
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Johnny Benson , Jack Sprague , Cale Yarborough
Teams Wood Brothers Racing