HICKORY, N.C. (Jan. 21, 2000) - Team owner Cal Wells III announced that Scott Pruett will be the substitute driver for the McDonald's / PPI Motorsports entry at the NASCAR Busch Series season opener - the NAPA Auto Parts 300 - Feb. 19 at...
HICKORY, N.C. (Jan. 21, 2000) - Team owner Cal Wells III announced that Scott Pruett will be the substitute driver for the McDonald's / PPI Motorsports entry at the NASCAR Busch Series season opener - the NAPA Auto Parts 300 - Feb. 19 at Daytona International Speedway.
Pruett, whose main ride is with the Cal Wells-owned #32 Tide Ford on the Winston Cup circuit, is substituting for Anthony Lazzaro, a PPI Motorsports teammate and the primary driver of the #97 McDonald's Ford Taurus.
Lazzaro is required to sit out the Daytona opener due to a racing injury and a six-week recovery period that prevented him from meeting NASCAR's eligibility requirements for rookie entry in a superspeedway race. He is fully recovered from the injury - a fracture of the thoracic T-3 vertebra, suffered in last October's ARCA race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Lazzaro will make his Busch Series debut, Feb. 26, at the Alltel 200 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.
Pruett, who will be performing "double duty" for PPI Motorsports in Daytona, joined the Tide Winston Cup team following the 1999 season. Before joining the Tide team, he had a successful 10-year career in the open-wheel CART series. His also had a successful career as a sports car racer, winning two national championships in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans Am series and three season championships in the International Motorsports Association (IMSA) series.
"I'm not only happy to help out a teammate and friend, but I am also eagerly looking forward to driving the McDonald's car in one of the most competitive series in all of racing," said Pruett. "This will be a challenge, but everything in racing is a challenge and I welcome the opportunity." Wells, who will make his debut as a NASCAR owner in Daytona, said, "It is only natural to have Scott drive the McDonald's car. He's a talented driver and knows our system and personnel, which makes it a more comfortable, smoother transition. We are also fortunate to have two partners, McDonald's and Tide, who enjoy an association with each other through their relationships with both our Cup and Busch teams. The ability to make that two-car connection even more significant at Daytona with Scott was a bonus, both for us and for them."
Pruett and Lazzaro will both drive the McDonald's car in the upcoming Busch test session, Jan. 24 and 25 in Daytona.