Andretti-Helming Racing gets sponsor renewal

RALEIGH, NC (APRIL 10, 2000) – CARQUEST Auto Parts announces the sponsorship renewal of the Andretti-Helmling Racing’s USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet car for the 2000 racing season. This season Brandon "Bud" Kaeding, 20, of Campbell, CA, the...

RALEIGH, NC (APRIL 10, 2000) – CARQUEST Auto Parts announces the sponsorship renewal of the Andretti-Helmling Racing’s USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet car for the 2000 racing season. This season Brandon "Bud" Kaeding, 20, of Campbell, CA, the defending USAC Western States Champion, and USAC Western "Rookie of the Year" will drive the car.

"We couldn't be happier than to be again sponsoring Rollie Helmling and John Andretti’s USAC Silver Bullet car," said Scott Ginsburg, CARQUEST Director of Advertising. "Last season was a great introduction for CARQUEST to the Silver Bullet Series and we look forward to our involvement with Rollie, John, and Bud."

In 1999, Helmling was teamed with Gary Zarounian and their driver J.J. Yeley finished in the top ten of the USAC point standings. For the 2000 season, Helmling has reorganized his team and despite missing the first two Silver Bullet events in Phoenix, AZ and Orlando, FL, debuted the new team, April 8, in Nazareth, PA.

"Gary and I decided to run our own teams for the 2000 season and I’ve been putting together an entirely new CARQUEST Silver Bullet Series Team," commented Helmling, team co-owner with John Andretti. "I couldn’t be happier than to have Bud Kaeding drive the CARQUEST car for the remainder of the season and I expect us to be very competitive."

Rollie Helmling, of Vincennes, IN, is a successful businessman as owner and president of Harold's Supermarkets. He also owns a chain of CARQUEST Auto Parts Stores with seven-time Indy 500 driver and current NASCAR driver John Andretti. Mr. Helmling has been one of the top owners of USAC Midgets prior to moving to the USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series. Helmling has won the Midget Nationals in Belleville, Kansas, and the Four Crown Nationals in Rossburg, Ohio with driver Jeff Gordon. Also, he has won the Hut Hundred in Terre Haute, Indiana, with both drivers Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart. Other drivers have included John Andretti, Stan Fox, Johnny Parsons, Larry Rice, and Mel Kenyon.

Brandon "Bud" Kaeding, of Campbell, CA is a third generation racer who at age 18 had eleven years of experience already under his belt. Starting in 1987 running Quarter Midgets, he became QMA Rookie of the Year. He was the 1988-93 Baylands Track Champion, competing in Micro Midgets and Sprint Cars and was the 1997 NARC Rookie of the Year. He has 3 top ten finishes in World of Outlaws competition and like his granfather Howard and dad Brent, Bud has carried his success onto the USAC series. Kaeding stormed to the 1999 championship in the USAC Western Sprint Car Series with seven victories and three second place finishes in 17 races. He was also the fastest qualifier on six occasions and only once finished out of the top ten, winning the 1999 USAC Western States Sprint Car Championship and being named USAC Western States "Rookie of the Year." The 2000 CARQUEST Silver Bullet pavement and dirt cars are built by Beast Chassis and will be powered by 700 horsepower, 355 cubic inch, fuel-injected, Chevy Engines by Jones Engineering of Washington, IN. The team’s number will be 44 and its radio frequency will be 467.400.

The Coors Light Silver Bullet Series, which has produced 67 different race winners and 22 driving champions in its 223 events since debuting in 1971, opens with a 50-mile race at Walt Disney World Speedway near Orlando, Fla. the weekend of January 28-29 in conjunction with the Delphi 200 Indy Racing League opener, and closes with a 100-lap race at the Memphis Motorsports Park oval in Tennessee the weekend of October 28-29. Drivers will be tested on tracks ranging from 1/2-mile to 1-1/4 miles in length and on both dirt and paved surfaces, creating a truly diverse driving championship. Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, the home of the famed "Knoxville Nationals" Sprint Car classic, returns to the schedule for the first time since it hosted a 1980 Silver Bullet race won by the late Rich Vogler. The June 2-3 event on the historic 1/2-mile is being held in conjunction with the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame's annual induction ceremonies and will feature a 100-lap main event. "Traditional" dates abound, including the "Copper World Classic" at Phoenix, Ariz. February 4-6, the "Coca-Cola 100" and "Dupont 100" May 20 and August 2 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, A.J. Foyt's True Value "Hulman-Hoosier Hundred" May 26 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the "Tony Bettenhausen 100" at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield August 19, the "DuQuoin Century" at the DuQuoin, Ill. State Fair September 4, the "4-Crown Nationals" at Rossburg, Ohio's Eldora Speedway September 29-30 and the "Silver Crown 100" at Sacramento, Calif.'s CalExpo State Fairgrounds October 7. Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway, which hosted its inaugural Silver Bullet race in 1999, switches to April 7-8 for this year's event, while Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, which also hosted its inaugural Silver Bullet race in 1999, returns for an October 14 date. Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. hosts a May 6-7 program and is the longest track on the schedule, at 1.25 miles. Chuck Leary set the existing series speed record of 141.750 mph there in 1997. Ryan Newman of South Bend, Ind., winner of the 1999 race at Gateway after a record-setting duel with Kenny Irwin, is the defending series champion and will drive the #1 entry for car owner Johnny Vance of Dayton, OH in the Orlando opener. Ryan also won the "Coca-Cola 100" at IRP in 1999.

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Series Automotive , USAC
Drivers John Andretti , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Ryan Newman , Bud Kaeding , Johnny Parsons , Tony Bettenhausen , A.J. Foyt