USAR: A.J. Frank joins Smith Performance Racing

Mooresville, N.C. -- Veteran driver A.J. Frank and new USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series team Smith Performance Racing are proud to announce a partnership for the 2008 season. Frank, who finished 11th in series points last year driving for Mac ...

Mooresville, N.C. -- Veteran driver A.J. Frank and new USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series team Smith Performance Racing are proud to announce a partnership for the 2008 season.

Frank, who finished 11th in series points last year driving for Mac Hill Motorsports, will once again compete in the Sears Auto Center Northern Division, and his maiden voyage in the SPR No. 52 Chevy Monte Carlo will come Saturday in the Miller Lite 250 at South Boston Speedway.

He said he's excited to work with SPR, led by the father-and-son duo of Billy and Bill Smith, and thrilled to be able to represent the team in the Smiths' home state of Virginia.

"Our deal came together late, but we hope to make our mark quick at South Boston," said Frank, who has 13 top-five finishes and 29 top-10s in only 50 Pro Cup starts.

Bill Smith said he's elated to work with a driver of Frank's talent and experience in his squad's first year in Pro Cup. He only wishes he and Frank had started talking earlier. The team effort will have been together for only 10 days when the green flag waves on Saturday. Until then, Frank's immediate driving future and SPR's immediate car-fielding future were unclear.

"We couldn't be happier to have found A.J. and to have come to an agreement with him," said Smith, who has been involved with IHRA drag racing and NASCAR Late Models over the past few years. "He's an excellent driver, of course, and he's a great person to work alongside. I just wish we would have started this deal three months ago. We'll be ready for South Boston, though. You can bet on that."

Indeed, Smith would have been hard-pressed to have found a better wheel man to get a car ready for South Boston in a short amount of time. Running in the top 10 has been routine for Frank at the famed track in Southside Virginia. He finished seventh and eighth in two races there last year, and his career-best South Boston finishes were both fourth-place runs, in 2005 and 2006.

"It seems like it's been so long since I was behind the wheel of a racecar in a competitive situation," Frank said. "I'm grateful to the Smiths for giving me this opportunity. They bought a great car, and we've teamed up with T2 Motorsports, which should make for a stout combination this weekend."

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Series Stock car
Drivers A.J. Frank , Bill Smith