NASCAR Fans E-mail List Dr. J. In NASCAR? GREENSBORO, N.C. (Apr 22, 1997 - 17:25 EST) - Former National Basketball Association star Julius Erving and ex-American football star Joe Washington are forming the first minority-owned team in ...
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Dr. J. In NASCAR?
GREENSBORO, N.C. (Apr 22, 1997 - 17:25 EST) - Former National Basketball Association star Julius Erving and ex-American football star Joe Washington are forming the first minority-owned team in NASCAR racing.
The African-American friends will join Kathy Thompson of a marketing group based in Greensboro, N.C. to form a racing team that will compete next season, bringing race and gender diversity to the most popular form of U.S. racing.
"We are very conscious of that and very sensitive to it," Erving said. "Diversity is a big thing in corporate America. It will offer us pluses and minuses. We will try to take advantage."
"Doctor J" was an 11-time NBA All-Star named one of the top 50 players in league history. Now 47, he and Washington plan to leave the driving and the decisions to race experts.
"We will strategize but we know better than to think we can do day-to-day racing-related things," Erving said. "We want to create something special and long lasting."
NASCAR officials welcome the breaking of the color barrier among owners in the sport, most popular in the rural south but with events staged as far away as Japan.
"The world knows who these guys are," NASCAR president Bill France said. "Any time someone comes into our sport after competing at such a high level, people will notice."
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