BUSCH: BACE closes doors for now.

BACE closes doors on 74 team for now By Marty Smith CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Apr. 6, 2000) BACE Motorsports' No. 74 Chevrolet is just three seasons removed from a trio of NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division championships. Not that long ago,...

BACE closes doors on 74 team for now
By Marty Smith

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Apr. 6, 2000) BACE Motorsports' No. 74 Chevrolet is just three seasons removed from a trio of NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division championships. Not that long ago, the future seemed limitless for the most dominant team in the series. Wednesday, the 74 team ceased operations.

BACE Motorsports owner Bill Baumgardner announced Thursday that the team will not be present at Nashville for this weekend's BellSouth Mobility 320, and has no future plans to compete at this time. According to a team spokesperson, the team's decision was based on a lack of on-track performance, and an inability to land a sponsor.

The team's driver, P.J. Jones, has been released. Jones struggled direly with the 74 team, with his best finish a 24th-place in the Aaron's 312 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He failed to finish in the top-30 in five of seven races, but he did make every race.

Jones wasn't out of a ride for long. He has been tapped to drive the No. 19 Yellow/Kobalt Mechanics Tools/Pameco Chevy for the remainder of the 2000 season. Jones will join the 19 team effective immediately, beginning this weekend at Nashville.

In the wake of the decision, BACE will concentrate its efforts solely on improving the No. 33 Bayer/Alka-Seltzer Chevrolet driven by 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year Tony Raines. That team currently ranks 11th in the point standings, but is just 167 points out of the top-5.

This weekend's event will mark the first time since the 74 team's inception in 1993 that it will miss a race. Last season, it became the first team to run a full schedule unsponsored. However, Baumgardner refused to do so again this year due to the ever-increasing level of competition in the NASCAR Busch Series.

In 1995, BACE won its first NASCAR Busch Series championship with driver Johnny Benson, then followed that up with two more in '96 and '97 with Randy LaJoie behind the wheel.

Baumgardner was unavailable for comment Thursday.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Johnny Benson , Tony Raines , P.J. Jones