Donlavey excited about Daytona By Shawn A. Akers RICHMOND, Va. (Jan. 27, 1999) With a strong sponsorship package behind him and an ambitious rookie driver in the seat of his No. 90 Ford Taurus, Junie Donlavey is headed into his 50th year in...
Donlavey excited about Daytona By Shawn A. Akers
RICHMOND, Va. (Jan. 27, 1999) With a strong sponsorship package behind him and an ambitious rookie driver in the seat of his No. 90 Ford Taurus, Junie Donlavey is headed into his 50th year in NASCAR racing with the vigor and enthusiasm of a youngster.
New sponsor Big Daddy's BBQ Sauce is solidly behind the team and Donlavey said he can't wait to get to Daytona next month to show off his new cars and his new driver, Mike Harmon.
"It's a new year, we've got everything wrapped up and we're ready to roll," said Donlavey, the owner of the No. 90 Ford Taurus. "We're painting cars, putting the finishing touches on them and we're ready to get on down the road to Daytona.
"I've been in this business a long time, and I can't remember when I've been so excited to get down to Daytona. It's my 50th year and we weren't going to start it out without going to Daytona. We're looking for good things to happen down there and we're looking forward to a great year."
Harmon, a successful driver in the Slim Jim All Pro Series, a part of the NASCAR Touring Division, in past years, will be vying for NASCAR Winston Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors along with the likes of Tony Stewart, Buckshot Jones, Elliott Sadler and Dan Pardus.
Harmon participated in both Ford Daytona tests this month, and Donlavey said he was pleased with what he saw from his first-year driver.
"We went to Daytona and quite frankly, I thought he looked really good," Donlavey said. "When you get a new driver like that and you take him to a place like Daytona, what you really want to do is see how consistent he is, whether he runs the right line and whether or not he has a feel for the track. We set him up in qualifying trim, and I think he did a great job."
Donlavey said he isn't at all anxious about putting a rookie behind the wheel of his Tauruses this season.
"The situation with Mike has been perfect," Donlavey said. "He gets along great with the whole group. We used to drive Modifieds way back, and he reminds me of the drivers I used to have back then. They all just wanted to race, and he loves to race. That's all he wants to do. It's the only thing he's got on his mind."
Source: NASCAR Online