Again, Fedewa proves he's a winner By Shawn A. Akers BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Jan. 5, 1999) Tim Fedewa never doubted he could win in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division. He had already done so, earning his first career victory in...
Again, Fedewa proves he's a winner By Shawn A. Akers
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Jan. 5, 1999) Tim Fedewa never doubted he could win in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division. He had already done so, earning his first career victory in the series in 1995. Getting that second one, however, hadn't come so easy. Prior to 1998, the driver of the No. 33 Kleenex Chevrolet had gone 71 starts without getting to Victory Lane, including winless seasons in 1996 and '97. Fedewa was on a mission this past season, and he wasn't going to rest easy until he earned the spoils of victory again. "When you win once, you want to keep that winning feeling," Fedewa said prior to the start of the year. "That's why the last two years have been tough. We've been decent, but not quite good enough. With the team we've got, we should get there soon enough." The team did just that in May, as Fedewa won the First Union 200 at Nazareth Speedway, the place where he had won three years previous. The win helped offset a rough start in 1998 for the BACE Motorsports team, a start that saw Fedewa manage three top-10s in his first 11 events. In fact, during that span, Fedewa finished 20th or worse four times, including back-to-back 34th-place runs at Darlington and Bristol. The late spring-early summer portion of the 1998 schedule proved to be a bit more generous to Fedewa. With the exception of a 35th-place finish in the inaugural series event at Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fedewa found the consistency he lacked early on. Beginning with the Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen International, Fedewa ripped off four top-10 finishes in five races, capped off by his second victory of the season, in the LYCOS.com 300 at South Boston Speedway. The win at South Boston came gift-wrapped, as Dale Earnhardt Jr., who led the first 244 laps, was black-flagged by NASCAR late in the race for rough driving. Fedewa led the final 56 laps to take the checkered flag. "I think I could have caught him," Fedewa said of Earnhardt Jr., prior to the black flag. "Getting around him might've been another story. I got up beside him, and we touched a little. We kept getting our car better and better. It would've been interesting. That's history. I'm just glad we were able to take advantage of the situation and get the Chevrolet into Victory Lane." Before Earnhardt was penalized by NASCAR, it appeared as though Fedewa was only going to be able to keep up while both were in lapped traffic. "We were a little better than him (Earnhardt), I think, in traffic," Fedewa said. "On the open road, man, he was pretty tough. We at least got even with him. We were clicking off even laps there for a long time. When we'd get to lapped traffic, he was having a little bit of trouble." Consistency once again escaped Fedewa and the team in the latter part of the season. In the final 11 races, Fedewa had just three top-10s and finished outside the top-20 a whopping six times. Fedewa managed to finish seventh in the series standings, bettering his 1997 performance by two spots. For the second time in his career, he'll be up on stage at the annual NASCAR Busch Series Awards Banquet, to be held Jan. 8 at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Following that event, however, Fedewa will officially sever his association with BACE Motorsports. Fedewa will drive the No. 36 Stanley Tools Pontiac beginning in 1999 for Cicci-Welliver Racing. "I am really excited about joining Cicci-Welliver Racing," Fedewa said. "This is a great opportunity for me. I have a good relationship with this team, not only with (teammates) Mike (McLaughlin) and Todd (Bodine), but with the owners Frank (Cicci) and Scott (Welliver). They are a premier team with a high caliber of people. "Stanley has been a committed sponsor in this sport for a long time. I am glad that I have the opportunity to drive for them and I think 1999 will be a successful year for all of us."
Source: NASCAR Online