Carlos Contreras Makes NASCAR History

· Carlos Contreras, driver of the No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Ram in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will make NASCAR history on Friday, February 18, when the Mexican native takes the green flag to start the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250. The...

· Carlos Contreras, driver of the No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge Ram in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will make NASCAR history on Friday, February 18, when the Mexican native takes the green flag to start the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 250. The 29-year-old is the first Mexican citizen set to compete in a full NASCAR season. Contreras won back-to-back championships in Mexico's top stock car series, the Mustang Cup ('98, '99).

· The Hot Wheels team tested here at Daytona International Speedway in January and Contreras was awestruck. "This track is very big," said Contreras. "I was amazed at the size of the facility and the track itself. This is NASCAR racing." The No. 12 Hot Wheels Dodge reached the 186 MPH mark in the January test, rounding out the top-15 NCTS teams in the DIS test.

· Contreras will have the advantage of an experienced crew chief for 2000. Doug George, former Winston West Champion will be calling the shots for the No. 12 Hot Wheels team. George competed in nearly 40 NCTS races over the past three seasons and has worked as a consultant to a number of truck teams. The California native is confident his driver will be competitive this year. "There is no question that Carlos has talent," said George. "He is trying to get accustomed to the weight of these trucks and we need to work together as a team, but we will be competitive."

· The Hot Wheels team will have a group of guests at Friday's race from Mexico that includes members of the Mexican and Latin American media as well as marketing personnel from Mattel, Inc. offices in Latin America. Hot Wheels has sponsored Contreras over the past three seasons and is excited about his move into NASCAR. "We have built a great relationship with Carlos and his family," said Hector Andreo, Vice President of Mattel, Latin America. "He is the perfect role model for our children in Mexico and throughout the world."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Carlos Contreras