For Immediate Release
"NEW & IMPROVED" CHUCK ETCHELLS SET TO LAUNCH '98 CHAMPIONSHIP RUN IN POMONA
PUTNAM, CT, January 19, 1998 -- New and Improved. This simple catch phrase has long been one of advertising's favorite ways of enticing consumer s to try a product that has already been in the marketplace. After all, if a proven item has been changed, it follows that it must be better. Su= ch is also the thinking on Chuck Etchells' Kendall/MaMa Rosa's Pizza/Superwinch Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Racing team. Being a consistent top-five fin= isher in the Winston Drag Racing series' point standings wasn't enough for this ultra-competitive crew. Therefore, changes were made, and like th= e advertising slogan, this team is looking for improvement - all the way to the 1998 Winston Funny Car world championship. Their pursuit starts = with the running of the Chief Winternationals in Pomona.
"This team is focused on winning the Funny Car championship," stated Etchells. "However, so is the rest of the competition. We're coming off a g= ood year in 1997, but we needed to step up to reach the top. We've done a couple of things in the off-season that we're confident will help us, a= nd the Winternationals should give us a idea of where we stand."
The alterations Etchells spoke of are concentrated in two areas. The most obvious, of course, is the race car itself. For the first time in ten = years, Chuck Etchells will campaign a Chevrolet, as the Etchells Racing entry will sport a sleek new 1998 Camaro Z28 body. The Z28's promising ae= rodynamic characteristics can only add to a team which last year posted the highest speed in the history of the Funny Car division with a 315.56 m= iles-per-hour pass in Houston last October. The other area of change involves sponsorship. The Etchells organization's efforts will be boosted b= y additional sponsorship acquired over the winter in the form of MaMa Rosa's Pizza and Auto Ventshade, who join primary backer Kendall, and long-t= ime associates Superwinch, Mighty Auto Parts and Snap-On Tools. These resources will allow the team to explore all options in their search for sp= eed.
But, just as these changes should bolster their performance, the key to success lies in recognizing and keeping the vital team components. The ta= lented duo of crew chiefs Tim and Kim Richards will again be called on to bring the Camaro Z28 Funny Car up to speed. With the limited amount of = testing scheduled before the season-opener, the Etchells team's experience will be crucial in obtaining the proper balance of power and traction. = This weekend's session in Arizona will serve as a shakedown for the new car, with establishing a baseline performance a priority. Once in Pomona= , Etchells will look to first duplicate his number one qualifying achievement from the Winston Finals, and follow it up by advancing through elimi= nations. A tough assignment, but this veteran crew sees it as just the first step on the championship trail.
"We feel we have all the necessary pieces in place," explained Etchells. "It's now up to us to put it together. Every member of this team is com= mitted to winning, and we're going to keep working to put the Kendall/MaMa Rosa's Pizza/Superwinch Camaro Z28 on top!" - 30 -