BUSCH: Robinson looks to 'run with the big boys'

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (March 23, 2001) - Veteran racecar driver and mother of two, Shawna Robinson, plans on making a big splash in the NASCAR scene this year, running limited Busch Grand National and Winston Cup schedules. Robinson, who has been ...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (March 23, 2001) - Veteran racecar driver and mother of two, Shawna Robinson, plans on making a big splash in the NASCAR scene this year, running limited Busch Grand National and Winston Cup schedules. Robinson, who has been racing for 18 years, is slated to run six Winston Cup events and three Busch events this season, including the Jani-King 300 Busch race at Texas Motor Speedway on March 31.

Robinson's Busch venture finds her with a three-race deal, driving for long-time friend and Winston Cup Series regular, Michael Waltrip in his Aaron's Rents "Dream Machine" car. "This is huge," Robinson stated. "The winner of the Daytona 500 has given me a ride." "I'm looking forward to being a part of the Aaron's 'Dream Machine' team," said Robinson, "and I'm excited about the entire program."

The opportunity for Robinson to drive for Michael Waltrip Racing came from discussions between Waltrip and Ken Butler, president of Aaron's Rents. "Shawna is an awesome addition to the 'Dream Machine' team. She has proven herself to be a very capable NASCAR driver and we look forward to her representing our company and customers," said Butler.

The March 31 Jani-King 300 race at Texas Motor Speedway will mark the beginning of Robinson's Busch driving duties, followed by races April 14 at Nashville and April 21 at Talladega. Robinson's start on March 31 will make her the first woman in four years to run in a NASCAR sanctioned Busch Grand National race. Robinson's three-race stint also makes her the first woman in four years to run an extended Busch schedule, with more than two races.

Robinson is no stranger to the NASCAR Busch Grand National series circuit. In 1991, she moved from the NASCAR Charlotte/Daytona Dash (now called the 'Goody's Dash') Series, where she racked up an impressive record, including three wins and 21 top-10 finishes, to the Busch Grand National ranks. In 1992, Robinson ran a 14-race limited Busch Series schedule, making her a candidate for the "Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year" honors, in which she was the runner-up.

Robinson's first full season of Busch Series competition, a total of 28 races, came in 1993, where she finished 23rd in the points standings. Perhaps one of Robinson's greatest years in her Busch series tenure was 1994. That year, Robinson captured the outside pole in February for the Goodwrench 200 at North Carolina Speedway, and then her first Top-10 finish at Watkins Glen in June. The highlight, however, came on March 12, when Robinson qualified for the Busch Light 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Robinson had a 174.330 mph run, which not only broke the track record, but also made her the first woman in NASCAR history to claim a pole position in not only the Busch Series, but in any NASCAR series.

Returning to NASCAR Busch Grand National Series competition after a six-year absence, Robinson is eagerly awaiting the Jani-King 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. A woman on a mission, she not only hopes to gain valuable seat time, but also prove that she is a serious competitor, and to give the "boys" a run for their money on the track.

-TMS

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Shawna Robinson , Ken Butler
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing