Hoelzle, Team Jones to debut at Myrtle Beach MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (July 14, 1999) Five-time World Karting Association national champion D.J. Hoelzle of Dunedin, Fla., plans to make his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division debut on...
Hoelzle, Team Jones to debut at Myrtle Beach
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (July 14, 1999) Five-time World Karting Association national champion D.J. Hoelzle of Dunedin, Fla., plans to make his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division debut on Saturday in a Team Jones Pontiac in the Myrtle Beach 250 at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Before then, Hoelzle isn't taking any chances. Until Team Jones is back in full stride on the NASCAR Busch Series circuit, he's content with working all week in the team's race shop in Fernandina Beach in North Florida, then spending his weekends behind the wheel.
"I believe once you get to a certain level as a driver, you have other obligations that demand your time away from the race team," Hoelzle said. "Until then, your obligation is to be involved with the race team, learning every aspect of the race car. That's why I work on the car during the week, then I drive it on the weekend. I'm willing to pay my dues."
Hoelzle's NASCAR Busch Series debut on the .538-mile seaside oval is the first of five selected appearances on the NASCAR Busch Series this year. Then Hoelzle and Team Jones plan to make a run at the circuit's Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award in 2000.
While Hoelzle is new to the NASCAR Busch Series as a driver, Team Jones is not new to the popular circuit. The team is headed by racing veteran Bobby Jones, and it has made infrequent appearances on the NASCAR Busch Series circuit during the last eight years with drivers like Jeremy Mayfield, P.J. Jones and two-time series champion Larry Pearson, among others.
But the new effort has gained the team two new partners and a 24-year-old driver with a wealth of racing experience and enthusiasm.
"Jerry Davis and Tony Weight have come on board as co-owners, and that's given us the stability that we need," Hoelzle said. "Our plans right now are to run the Busch Series races at Myrtle Beach and Indianapolis, then we'll go from there.
"We're going to run the ARCA Series race at Atlanta in November so we can get some superspeedway experience. Things are in place for this to be a long-term association. I can't wait to get it started."
Hoelzle has been racing since he was 5. He's won 22 of 48 career starts on the World Karting Association in enduro road races. That success led him to five national championships and four victories in "World Championship" enduros at Daytona.
In 1997, Hoelzle was second in the rookie points and seventh overall in the Hooters Pro Cup Modified Series. In 14 starts that year, he had nine top-10 finishes.
Hoelzle also has some experience with the NASCAR Busch Series. In 1998, he worked for ST Motorsports, doing everything from sweeping floors to working with engines. Last year, he drove in open test sessions at Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta; Milwaukee; and Myrtle Beach. He showed enough promise to impress Jones.
"I saw a lot of raw talent in D.J." the 20-year veteran of both the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series said. "He was very comfortable in the car and he had an understanding of how the car's setup relates to the success of each lap. The future of this race team is unlimited."
Bud Pole Qualifying for the Myrtle Beach 250 is Saturday afternoon, and the main event will start at 9 p.m. ET on TNN.
Source: NASCAR Online