Ave's Esperante carries Letterman's message.

ALTON, VA. -- The Indianapolis based LAC Motorsports Team will end the 2002 Trans-Am Season for the BF Goodrich Tires Cup by driving home an important, or at least humorous, message during the VIR Speedfest this weekend.

The #53 LAC Motorsports/Trilithic Panoz Esperante driven by Tony Ave will carry a special emblem encouraging decision makers in the team's hometown to rename Interstate 465, which circles Indianapolis, the David Letterman Expressway, in support of their hometown hero.

Letterman, host of Late Night with David Letterman on CBS, launched an informal campaign a few weeks ago to have the highway renamed in his honor. LAC Motorsports Crew Chief Nick Short heard about Letterman's campaign, and suggested the team support Letterman's cause during the season-ending Speedfest at Virginia International Raceway. Team owner Kerry Alexander and Ave readily agreed to help raise awareness about Letterman's campaign.

"We just felt it was the least we could do for Dave, a man who has brought an enormous amount of attention to our city over the years," says Alexander.

"And it's better than naming it after Paul Shafer, because he's Canadian," quips Short, a native of Great Britain.

The hood of the red white and blue Esperante carries the message, "Vote for" over an interstate sign altered to say, "David Letterman Expressway." The message, "Vote no for 465" has been placed over the rear wheelwells.

Ave, who was fifth fastest in both practice sessions Friday, is seventh in the championship points chase.  He takes on newly crowned series champion Boris Said,  rookie of the year Butch Leitzinger, former champion Paul Gentilozzi, and scores of other drivers hungry for a podium finish in Sunday's race, which will be broadcast live on Speed at 1 p.m..