MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 19, 2000) -- Mike Bliss registered his best career NASCAR Winston Cup Series performance (ninth) and Kenny Wallace matched his best career finish (second) in the Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last Sunday.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 19, 2000) -- Mike Bliss registered his best career NASCAR Winston Cup Series performance (ninth) and Kenny Wallace matched his best career finish (second) in the Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last Sunday. Eel River Racing has a lot to look forward to, including a shot at the No Bull 5 million-dollar bonus in 2001.
Eel River Racing recently announced the signing of a three-year agreement to field Pontiacs for Wallace, beginning with the prestigious Daytona 500 on Feb. 18, 2001. Currently, Eel River Racing fields the No. 27 Viagra Pontiac for Bliss, whose ninth-place outing was also a career-best for the first-year team.
In addition to the fact that Sunday's strong runs are indicative of a bright future for the young team, Wallace's top-five finish makes him eligible for the next No Bull 5 event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, 2001. The RJ Reynold's million-dollar bonus program is structured around the drivers, so Wallace's eligibility will be carried with him when he moves to Eel River Racing next season - a tremendous boost to both the team and the primary sponsor, for which Eel River Racing is searching.
"When the race was over and I came down pit road, I saw the complete Eel River team on pit road cheering for their driver," Wallace said of his future team. "Then they turned and had their arms up in the air to congratulate me. That was pretty neat. To find out that the team is rising to the occasion made me feel good. I have always thought that Eel River Racing was a great race team. They showed what they're made of on Sunday - they had a great car, great pit stops and Mike Bliss did a great job driving.
"I'm really excited about the next No Bull 5," continued Wallace. "I've been in it one time before and it's a lot of fun. But it's not so much being excited about the possibility of the bonus, it's bringing some of that excitement to my new team. We'll go out there to Las Vegas and give them a little pride - let the boys paint their spoiler and number bright orange (indicating they are one of five teams racing for the bonus). Everybody knows that they're part of a competitive situation when they get to race for a million bucks."
Wallace also knows that being a part of the No Bull 5 program is of great value to a team's primary sponsor: "RJ Reynolds does a great job promoting the program. When I was part of it in Daytona last year, my face was hung everywhere. At the start of the race, they've got the showcars there doing a pace lap, the national live television broadcast usually starts with the No Bull 5 contenders and they follow your progress throughout the race. You've got 43 teams fighting for exposure every week - if you're part of the No Bull 5, you're guaranteed to get it."
Eel River Racing is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C., located just 30 miles north of Charlotte. The race team's operations and administration will relocate in December to a state-of-the-art 78,000 square foot facility in Mooresville.