HIGH POINT, N.C. -- In preparation for a landmark 2001 season with their overall program, Bill Davis Racing has begun an ambitious expansion of its NASCAR Busch Series engine facility, announcing plans to restructure its 12,000-foot BGN raceshop...
HIGH POINT, N.C. -- In preparation for a landmark 2001 season with their overall program, Bill Davis Racing has begun an ambitious expansion of its NASCAR Busch Series engine facility, announcing plans to restructure its 12,000-foot BGN raceshop to house Head Busch Engine builder Brad Thrower and his growing operation.
The remodeling of the original BDR racing facility -- in which Car Owner Davis began his full-time NASCAR involvement in 1991 with then-Busch Series rookie Jeff Gordon -- comes as Davis starts the process to identify a new primary sponsor for his #20 BGN entry.
AT&T, in the midst of a company-wide restructuring, announced last week that they would not return as sponsor of the #20 BDR Pontiac for the 2001 season.
"While everyone knows that AT&T is in the process of making some changes within the company, we fully expected them to be involved with the #20 team next season because we had a multi-year deal with them that began this year," said Davis. "It definitely caught us by surprise but we realize that the budget cuts they are making have changed the way they looked at motorsports.
"Neverthless, we've had great success with our Busch Series programs over the past three seasons and the commitment we're making by creating a more advanced area for Busch motor development should speak volumes about where we think we can go in the future with the #20 team as well as our Busch efforts with Ward Burton and Dave Blaney."
Davis -- who began his NASCAR involvement with five years (1988-92) as a Busch Series owner for fellow Arkansan Mark Martin and now three-time champion Gordon -- revived his Busch Series interest prior to the 1998 season with Blaney, who has made a successful transition to the Winston Cup Series this season.
When Davis completed work in mid-summer on a new 65,000-square foot race shop to house the #22 Caterpillar/Polaris Winston Cup team for Burton and Blaney's #93 Amoco/Siemens team, the #20 Busch team moved into the 40,000-square foot building that previously housed the two WC teams, freeing up Davis' original race shop for the planned motor-room expansion.
The addition of a second WC program with Blaney this season as well as the demands of the pending move by BDR to Dodge for the 2001 Winston Cup season created the need for Davis to find more space for Thrower and his support team. When the motor room expansion is completed early next year, the sequence of events essentially will provide Davis' Busch program with state-of-the-art facilities second to none in the series.
Davis -- who now ranks 13th among all NASCAR owners in career earnings with almost $13 million -- joins five other owners (Jack Roush, Rick Hendrick, Larry McClure, Butch Mock, Felix Sabates) as winners in both the NASCAR Busch and Winston Cup Series. With over $2 million in Busch Series earnings (in 193 starts), Davis also ranks in the top-10 in career Busch earnings. The $113,844 single-race payout for the victory at Charlotte by Davis and Gordon (5/92) remains a Busch Series record, as are Gordon's 11 pole positions (in 31 starts) that season.
With Martin, Gordon, Burton and Blaney as his primary drivers, Davis' Busch Series entries have won six races, earned pole positions for 10% of their starts (20 total) and posted top-five (21%) and top-10 (37%) finishes at a championship level. Over the past three seasons, Davis' Busch Series entries have registered top-10 finishes at 14 different tracks (of 26), including 11 of the 21 tracks on which the Winston Cup Series competes.
Equipped with engines from Thrower's now-expanding motor department, BDR Busch Series teams have also won seven pole positions at six different tracks since 1998, all but one at Winston Cup facilities and all but one establishing new track records.