"Three Stooges" to ride with Barkdoll WESTWOOD, Mass. (Jan. 21, 1999) "Three Stooges Beer," a brand of the Panther Brewing Company, Thursday announced plans to sponsor Phil Barkdoll Racing and driver Ken Bouchard in the Feb. 14 Daytona 500 at...
"Three Stooges" to ride with Barkdoll
WESTWOOD, Mass. (Jan. 21, 1999) "Three Stooges Beer," a brand of the Panther Brewing Company, Thursday announced plans to sponsor Phil Barkdoll Racing and driver Ken Bouchard in the Feb. 14 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway and its preliminary events. The program marks the first time the brewery, located in this suburb of Boston, has been involved in motorsports. Barkdoll Racing, an independent team that concentrates on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series' most high profile events, has qualified for the 1997 and 1998 Daytona 500s and has made the race in seven of the last 11 years. "I want to see that Panther Brewing and Ken Bouchard get into the show," said Barkdoll, an entrepreneur and professional auctioneer who temporarily put his own driving career on hold several years ago as he successfully battled cancer. "I will have great equipment for them at Daytona." At this point, the team is still searching for speed. After two days of General Motors testing at Daytona this week, Bouchard, a native of Fitchburg, Mass., who won the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year Award, posted a best lap of 182.726 mph in the No. 73 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Rusty Wallace had the best lap in testing, 193.129 mph, in a Ford Taurus. For Speedweeks 1999, Barkdoll Racing will have engines from Andy Petree Racing, for which the team owner's son Steve Barkdoll holds a managerial position. Bouchard, who defeated Ernie Irvan in one of the closest rookie of the year battles ever, has only one start in the "Great American Race." He started 15th and finished 16th in 1989 driving for fellow New Englander Bob Whitcomb. Barkdoll, 61, himself had his team's best finish in the Daytona 500 -- 17th after starting 25th in 1992. He was 20th from a 29th-place start in 1991. He also achieved some notoriety for his role in Richard Petty's vicious frontstretch crash in the 1988 Daytona 500, from which both drivers emerged unscathed. "This is going to be fun," the 43-year-old Bouchard said. "I will do whatever I can to get the Panther Brewing Company Monte Carlo a real good run." Bouchard cut his teeth in NASCAR Modifieds in the Northeast. He has also raced in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He has also been involved in Petty's racing and driving school programs. Despite his limited schedule of races, Barkdoll's commitment to Daytona is unquestioned, as he turned down offers to "buy" his spot in the 1998 field. Barkdoll will stay busy during Speedweeks, as he will again serve as the auctioneer for a benefit event on Feb. 11, the night of the Gatorade 125-Mile Qualifying races for the Daytona 500. "I have a good time at Daytona," Barkdoll said, "even when I don't have the Three Stooges with me." The owner said he would hold off on naming the "Larry, Moe and Curly" of his team until the group made the race. Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is Feb. 6.
Source: NASCAR Online