CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 8, 2002)-- The Hispanic Racing Team (HRT Motorsports) has signed truck series veteran Carlos Contreras to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series for the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Contreras will drive a full schedule of races, ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 8, 2002)-- The Hispanic Racing Team (HRT Motorsports) has signed truck series veteran Carlos Contreras to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series for the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Contreras will drive a full schedule of races, starting in 2003, in the No. 41 with a yet-to-be announced sponsor. Contreras comes to HRT after competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with Petty Enterprises.
"We're very happy to have come to terms with Carlos," said Rudy Rodriguez, president of HRT. "It's great for HRT Motorsports to pair up with the most experienced Hispanic stock car driver, and an overall great person at that."
The decision to put Contreras in the car was easy, added Mike Vazquez, vice president of HRT.
"Given Carlos' Mexican heritage his appeal is strong with the Mexican-American population, which accounts for more than 65 percent of the total U.S. Hispanic population," Vazquez said. "He also comes with valuable NASCAR experience and race experience on most of NASCAR's tracks."
HRT Motorsports, the first and only Hispanic-owned, -sponsored, and -driven team in NASCAR, will expand to a two-car team with the addition of Contreras. The team is currently running a limited Busch Series schedule this year for the No. 09 CICLON Energy Drink entry. Former Busch Series champion David Green and open wheel veteran Roberto Guerrero have been sharing driving duties thus far this season. Green took the No. 09 CICLON entry to 14th and 19th place finishes at Charlotte and Chicago, respectively. Guerrero is slated to take over driving duties of the CICLON Racing entry at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 26.
Contreras and the No. 41 team are scheduled to run next season's full 34-race schedule. HRT also plans to field a car for Contreras at the NASCAR Winston Cup Series events at Watkins Glen and Sears Point, both road courses.
"I'm going to enjoy competing in the Busch Series with HRT," Contreras said."Mike, Rudy and I have had a great relationship. They want to win as much as I do, and they've shown me that they put everything back into the program. That's what a driver wants."
Contreras started his racing career in Mexico. After his 1999 debut in the Craftsman Truck Series, he ran a full season in 2000 and finished second in the Rookie of the Year standings. In 2001 Contreras headed to Petty Enterprises, where he drove the No. 43 Dodge to a 14th-place finish overall. He is currently 16th in the 2002 driver's standings.
ABOUT HRT Motorsports:
HRT Motorsports was established in 1999 in order to add diversity and create a new fan base within NASCAR. HRT Motorsports, founding members of NASCAR's diversity council, is the first Hispanic owned, sponsored and driven NASCAR team. HRT maximizes its sponsors' demographic reach and fan-potential on three continents by enlisting well-known auto-racing personalities within the Hispanic community: Carlos Contreras, Roberto Guerrero and brother, Jaime. HRT's drivers are joining forces to bring their experience and dedicated fan base to America's speedways. www.hrtmotorsports.com