Andretti-Laird Racing News 98-02-04

Andretti to make NASCAR Busch Series debut DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 3, 1998) John Andretti will make his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division debut in his own Big A Auto Parts Pontiac in the Feb. 14 NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona ...

Andretti to make NASCAR Busch Series debut

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 3, 1998) John Andretti will make his NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division debut in his own Big A Auto Parts Pontiac in the Feb. 14 NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

Following that event, Mike Stefanik of Coventry, R.I., who last season made modern NASCAR history by winning two touring series titles, will take over the car beginning with the Feb. 21 GM Goodwrench Service 200 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham.

Stefanik, who won championships in the NASCAR Busch North Series Grand National Division and NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour in 1997, will attempt at least initially to maintain his rides in those two northeastern series.

The NASCAR Busch Series team, which is co-owned by NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Andretti, of Indianapolis, Ind., and motorsports manager Don Laird, will run a full NASCAR Busch Series schedule in 1998. Stefanik will be eligible to compete for the series' Raybestos Rookie of the Year award.

Andretti, who won his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race last July in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, will first compete for the Bud Pole Award for the Daytona 500 on Saturday and then in the Bud Shootout At Daytona for 1997's Bud Pole winners Sunday. He will drive his regular No. 43 STP Pontiac in the former and a No. 25 Bud Shootout Chevrolet in the latter.

Andretti-Laird Racing, which is based in Charlotte, N.C., was created when its two principals split from the CAA Performance Group, which owns the NASCAR Busch Series Fords driven by Stevie Reeves. Its crew chief is former Northeast dirt Modified driver John Birosh, who worked with the No. 96 Ford driven by Reeves for most of last season.

The sponsorship marks the fifth year of Big A Auto Parts' relationship with Andretti, which began at the 1994 Daytona 500.

"I'm really excited about running the Busch race at Daytona," Andretti said. "We're going to have a good car and I feel we're going to have a good run there. We want to get Big A Auto Parts off to a good start with Andretti-Laird Racing and we feel pretty good about our chances of doing just that." Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Stevie Reeves