BUSCH: Changes ahead for RCR Busch program

Several changes await Richard Childress Racing and their Busch Grand National teams for the 2003 season. RCR currently fields two entries in the series. The No. 21 Rockwell car driven by Jeff Green and Jay Sauter, and the No. 2 AC Delco ...

Several changes await Richard Childress Racing and their Busch Grand National teams for the 2003 season.

RCR currently fields two entries in the series. The No. 21 Rockwell car driven by Jeff Green and Jay Sauter, and the No. 2 AC Delco machine driven by rookie Johnny Sauter. Both teams will see major changes in drivers and sponsors for the 2003 season.

Rockwell will leave to move to Joe Gibbs Racing, and Hershey Foods will take over as primary sponsor promoting its Payday brand.

Driving the Payday machine on a part time basis will be 2001 Busch Grand National Series Champion Kevin Harvick.

"I'm excited to be getting back into the Busch Series," Harvick said. "This year I didn't have enough to do. To get back into the Busch Series with a high-profile sponsor like Payday is exciting for me and everyone at Richard Childress Racing. I'm looking forward to it because it's going to be a lot of fun and will be good for our Winston Cup effort.

Harvick will not attempt the double duty (driving complete schedules in both BGN and Winston Cup) that he accomplished in 2001; Harvick will pilot the Chevrolet during race weekends that both series share the same track. On race weekends that the series do not run at the same venue, sophomore Johnny Sauter will take the wheel.

"I'm glad to be staying with RCR next year and I look forward to working with Kevin Harvick in the No. 21 Payday car," Sauter said. "Obviously, Kevin knows what it takes to win a Busch Series championship and I'm sure I can learn a few things from him along the way. We won't be running for a driver's championship but there's every reason to believe we can win the owner's championship." notes Sauter, who will be leaving the No 2 team.

With Sauter leaving the AC Delco ride it frees up the seat for two time Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday.

"Ron is a great competitor and a proven champion," stated Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. "We've had some great battles against him over the years in the Truck Series and the Busch Series so I'm looking forward to him winning races and championships for us instead. I think he gives RCR and AC Delco a great chance to bring home another Busch Series championship."

"This is a chance of a lifetime," said Hornaday, who has two top-three and six top-five, finishes in 24 races this season. "Richard's been such a help to me over the years, and got my relationship with Dale and Teresa Earnhardt off the ground when I was just starting in this business. His Busch program is second to none as far as I'm concerned, and I'm tickled to death to get the chance to work for him and a sponsor like AC Delco. I know their looking for results, and hopefully a gritty veteran like me can help this team get back to where they belong, on top."

In announcing the changes, AC Delco also has announced a four-year sponsorship commitment to RCR.

Both RCR Busch teams will make their debut in February during the 2003 Daytona Speed weeks.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Jeff Green , Jay Sauter , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Johnny Sauter
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing