Diamond Ridge team shaping up CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 22, 1999) With a solid sponsorship program, a top-10-caliber driver and solid in-shop personnel, Diamond Ridge Motorsports hopes to carry on its winning tradition in the NASCAR Busch Series...
Diamond Ridge team shaping up
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 22, 1999) With a solid sponsorship program, a top-10-caliber driver and solid in-shop personnel, Diamond Ridge Motorsports hopes to carry on its winning tradition in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division in 1999. With Jeff Purvis as his driver, Sammy Ware as his crew chief and Johnny Allen as his car chief, team owner Gary Bechtel has reason for optimism when the season gets under way next month in Daytona. Purvis will drive the Lance Snacks Chevrolet for a full schedule for Bechtel and Diamond Ridge this season. Lance, Inc. officially announced Friday that it would continue its six-year involvement in the NASCAR Busch Series by sponsoring Bechtel's team and Purvis in 1999. The Charlotte, N.C.-based snack food manufacturer will sponsor Purvis for the second straight season but will be in its first season with Diamond Ridge Motorsports, which is also located in Charlotte. "The opportunity to place Jeff Purvis into an established team such as Diamond Ridge Motorsports for 1999 is exciting for Lance Snacks," said Lance Director of Consumer Marketing Henry Pully. "Both have proven track records as winners and the combination of the two should prove to be one of the most competitive combinations in the Busch Grand National Series in 1999. Both Jeff and Diamond Ridge are focused on winning. They have high goals and the work ethic to produce winning results." Diamond Ridge Motorsports is used to success, placing two teams in the top-10 in the final NASCAR Busch Series point standings in each of the past two seasons while recording five wins during that span with driver Elliott Sadler. However, Bechtel is optimistic that with backing from Lance, Inc., and with the addition of Purvis, his Diamond Ridge Motorsports team can achieve an even higher level of performance in '99. "I am extremely excited to have an outstanding company like Lance on board with us this season," Bechtel said. "Lance has been in racing for years so they know the value-added benefit of NASCAR sponsorship. They are a local company and having them nearby is an added bonus for the team. Our goal is to perform on the track which in turn will help Lance products perform on the shelves. "Jeff Purvis is an experienced and talented driver and I think he will fit in well with our organization. He already has a good relationship with Lance and that is definitely a plus. Jeff wants to win races and compete for the Busch Series championship and everyone at Diamond Ridge is focused on that same goal." Purvis is coming off a successful '98 campaign in which he drove the Lance Chevrolet to six top-fives and 11 top-10 finishes. He went on to place 15th in the final Busch Series point standings despite having missed five of the season's 31 events. "I am very pleased to be able to continue my relationship with Lance," Purvis said. "Their support last season was tremendous. I feel like the move to Diamond Ridge Motorsports will give us an even better chance of winning races and contending for the Busch championship. Gary Bechtel's cars have always run up front and I am very excited about the opportunity to drive for Diamond Ridge this season." Ware has been with Diamond Ridge Motorsports since '94 and served most recently as car chief for Elliott Sadler, will be Purvis' Crew Chief in 1999. Johnny Allen, Purvis' crew chief last season at Phoenix Racing, will serve as car chief. MCA Nashville, which has been involved with Purvis both as a primary and associate sponsor in recent years, will return as a major associate this season. Recording artist Tracy Byrd will be featured on the Lance Chevrolet's rear quarterpanel. A multi-platinum selling artist, Byrd will release his first greatest hits package on Feb. 23. Keepers contains charts toppers from each of his five albums, including one new track, "When Mama Ain't Happy" which is currently climbing the singles charts. Lance Meat Snacks will also be an associate sponsor for the 1999 season. Consumer studies have shown that meat snacks are one of the key groups for the Lance consumer and Lance is putting a special focus on meat snacks in 1999.
Source: NASCAR Online