LAKE ORION, MI (April 22, 2003) - The K-Automotive Racing Team announced today that veteran NASCAR crew chief Rick Ren will assume that position with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry beginning with the next series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte, NC, Friday, May 16. Ren will take over calling the shots from on top of the pit box for driver Terry Cook and the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford team while team owner and crew chief Bob Keselowski transitions to a General Manager role at the team's Lake Orion, MI headquarters.
"This is a really great opportunity for me," said Ren, a 28-year racing veteran who most recently guided the No. 60 Addington Racing NCTS entry for the past five seasons. "Everyone in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series garage knows what a top-flight team the Keselowski's have. Terry Cook is a proven winner in this series taking four wins last year alone and the team sponsor, Power Stroke0x00ae Diesel, is one of the best in the Truck Series. I couldn't ask for a better situation. "
Ren, a native of Danville, IL has had a productive career guiding the fortunes of several drivers including Ward Burton, Ricky Craven, Andy Houston, Rick Carelli and Travis Kvapil. While at Addington Racing, Ren steered the No. 60 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry to five wins, 45 Top-5 and 73 Top-10 finishes in five seasons.
"Rick is one of the most competent and driven guys in all of racing," said Cook, who has four Top-10 finishes in as many events this season and is currently seventh in the 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. "He knows these trucks inside and out and is a great organizer. It's not often a guy of Rick's quality and skill becomes available, so we're very lucky to have him come on board with K-Automotive and the Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford team."
Keselowski, who took ill earlier this season, will continue to be involved with the team's raceday effort from his managerial role. The position will allow the 51-year-old NASCAR veteran driver and crew chief stay active with his race team while he returns to full health.
"This is a great solution for everyone involved," said Kay Keselowski, Bob's wife and spotter for the team. "We've been racing against Rick Ren for years and he's always one of the guys you have to plan on trying to beat. It will be nice to have him on our side for a change. Having Rick here will also allow Bob to concentrate on getting back to full strength physically and still have an active hand in running our family race team. Being at the race shop will be the best medicine for Bob. Everyone is looking forward to the day when we can have Bob back at the racetrack fulltime."
"Bob Keselowski is one of the smartest and nicest guys in all of NASCAR racing," said Ren. "It's a real honor to guide the K-Automotive Race Team. I'll just keep the seat warm for Bob up on the pit box and have it ready for him when he's ready to come back."
Ren, Cook and the No. 29 Power Stroke Diesel/Oil Mate Ford will take the green flag in the Hardee's 200 at Lowes Motor Speedway Friday, May 16 at 8 PM Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on Speed Channel and broadcast live on MRN Radio nationwide.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL TRUCK AND ENGINE COMPANY
International Truck and Engine Corporation is the operating company of Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV). International Truck and Engine is a leading producer of mid-range diesel engines, medium trucks, heavy trucks, severe service vehicles, and a provider of parts and service sold under the International brand. The company also is a private label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. Additionally, through a joint venture with Ford Motor Company, the company will build medium commercial trucks and currently sells and services truck and diesel engine parts. International Truck and Engine has the broadest distribution network in the industry. Financing for customers and dealers is provided through a wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar. Additional information can be found on the company's Web site at www.InternationalDelivers.com.
ABOUT ENGINEERED MACHINED PRODUCTS, INC.
Engineered Machined Products, Inc. (EMP), is North America's leading producer of engine cooling pumps for diesel engines. EMP also serves the diesel engine industry with lube oil pumps, fuel system components, and highly integrated engine front covers including pumps, gears, and accessory drives. Corporately located in Escanaba, MI, EMP operates manufacturing and assembly centers in Michigan and Indiana, as well as a 38,000 square foot advanced R&D technology center for development and testing of both conventional and revolutionary proprietary products. This facility provides a focused and creative environment to create innovative engineering solution in the areas of oil management and thermal management. EMP engineering efforts and products have won numerous awards and have successfully completed customer quality service requirements for Ford Motor Company, Detroit Diesel Corporation, Navistar International and Cummins Engine Company. For more information about Engineered Manufactured Products, Inc, please log on to www.emp-corp.com.