CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Oct. 23, 2001)& ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Oct. 23, 2001)– Yellow Racing driver Jimmy Spencer is looking forward to returning to Arizona this weekend as the NASCAR Busch Grand National series prepares to compete in Saturday’s Outback Steakhouse 200 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR).
It isn’t because Arizona has beautiful golf courses and nice October weather, or that Phoenix is also hosting the first two games of the Major League Baseball World Series this weekend. It’s because Spencer will be driving a race car that has already visited victory lane twice this year.
"We’re taking the same race car that won both races at Richmond (Va.)," Spencer said. Team Yellow Racing Chevy swept both events at Richmond International Raceway (May 4 and Sept. 7). "The reason is because that car performs so well on flat tracks. Both Richmond and Phoenix are flat tracks. Richmond has a little more banking, but they’re still very similar.
"We didn’t test in Phoenix, so our best option was to go with a race car that’s proven itself on a similar track," Spencer said. His race car led 361 of the 500 laps run at Richmond this year. "When a driver goes to a flat track, he looks for a race car with a lot of side-grip. Our race car in Richmond seemed to have that, especially on new tires."
Spencer will not only drive the #1 Yellow Chevrolet in the Outback Steakhouse 200, he will also serve as Yellow’s master of ceremonies before Saturday’s race. The 44-year-old driver will recognize three-time ATA National Grand Champion truck driver, Ray Simon, during driver introductions for the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series event at Phoenix International Raceway.
Simon, an employee for Yellow from St. Cloud, Minn., won the 64th annual National Truck Driving Championships in Minneapolis, Minn., (Aug. 22-25). Simon was victorious for an unprecedented third time, an industry record. His first two championships were in 1992 and 1997. Gerald Cudmore and Dave Bowers, employees who also represented Yellow at the National Truck Driving Championships, will accompany Simon to Saturday’s race.
"After I introduce him on Saturday, I might ask if I can drive his truck in next year’s competition," Spencer laughed. "It will be an honor to meet him this weekend. They told me he’s the best-of-the-best. He represents what Yellow is all about– quality, reliability, and commitment to success."
The National Truck Driver Championships (sponsored by the American Trucking Association) give professional drivers from across the country a chance to demonstrate their safe driving skills, and compete for the title of National Grand Champion. About 300 drivers competed this year in Minneapolis, with events ranging from obstacle course driving to pre-trip vehicle inspection. There are also written and oral examinations.