FORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2000) A.J. Foyt announced Wednesday he has selected veteran Rick Mast to pilot the No. 14 Conseco Pontiac for the remainder of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. "I've known Rick for a long time, and I think he...
FORT WORTH, Texas (March 29, 2000) A.J. Foyt announced Wednesday he has selected veteran Rick Mast to pilot the No. 14 Conseco Pontiac for the remainder of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. "I've known Rick for a long time, and I think he will be good for our team," Foyt said. "Rick's got a lot of experience, he's run at all the race tracks, and he knows what a car is supposed to feel like."
Foyt's return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series as a team owner has been marked by jagged ups and downs. After beginning the process in the second half of 1999, Foyt has seen the highs of signing veteran mechanic Waddell Wilson to head his operation and Conseco as its primary sponsor offset by the failure to qualify for three straight races after Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Mike Bliss made the field for the season opening Daytona 500.
Veteran Dick Trickle was signed for two races and made the field at Darlington, S.C., and Bristol, Tenn., in Bud Pole Qualifying.
Bliss, a rookie in the untenable position of relaying information about unfamiliar cars to a newly-formed team, has been signed to drive the No. 19 Yellow Freight Chevrolet in this weekend's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division Albertson's 300 presented by Pop Secret at Texas Motor Speedway.
Mast, a 12-year veteran of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, was the only driver still running at the end of every series event in 1999. The Rockbridge Baths, Va. native is credited with four Bud Poles, including the inaugural pole for the Brickyard 400 and has earned seven top-5 and 34 top-10 finishes since joining the series in 1988.
"I first met A.J. when we he was still driving an Indy car," said Mast, who along with Foyt was previously sponsored by U.S. Tobacco. "I got to know and respect A.J. Foyt the person. Over the years I've gotten to know A.J. the competitor, the A.J. that wants to win and is willing to put forth the resources to create a successful race team.
"A.J. is a racer, and he wants to win. I think the ultimate for me would be to score my first NASCAR Winston Cup Series win driving for A.J. Foyt. How many drivers can say that?"
Mast will assume his new role driving the No. 14 Conseco Pontiac for Foyt beginning this weekend when NASCAR's premier series travels to Texas for the DIRECTV 500 on Sunday. Bud Pole Qualifying for the event is Friday.