NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 5, 2000) Derrick Gilchrist has been named interim driver of the No. 82 Channellock/Team SABCO Chevrolet beginning with the BellSouth Mobility 320 Presented by Ericsson at Nashville Speedway USA, it was announced today.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 5, 2000) Derrick Gilchrist has been named interim driver of the No. 82 Channellock/Team SABCO Chevrolet beginning with the BellSouth Mobility 320 Presented by Ericsson at Nashville Speedway USA, it was announced today. Open wheel stand-out and Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender, Dave Steele began the season behind the wheel of the No. 82 Chevy. Steele qualified the car solidly into the first two events before experiencing problems in the following three. After stepping in to qualify the Channellock Chevrolet in the Cheez-Its 250, Sterling Marlin drove to Victory Lane at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Steele returned to driving duties the next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, however, after turning in competitive practice times he crashed during his qualifying run. Winston Cup regular Jeff Fuller stepped in to qualify the car during second-round, but was not quick enough to make the field.
"We got together after Texas to decide what direction we were going to go," said Armando Fitz, VP of Operations for Team SABCO. "It was a mutual decision between all parties that Dave just wasn't ready to run a full Busch schedule. It was at that time we began the search for a replacement driver and Derrick was atop our list."
Gilchrist began his stock car career in the NASCAR Slim Jim All-Pro Series in 1996 where he finished eighth overall in points. The following season, he was named Most Improved Driver finishing seventh overall. In 1998, the Asheville, N.C.-resident earned the runner-up spot with three poles, three victories, 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes -- more than any other driver in the series.
Last year, the 23-year old ventured into the American Speed Association claiming three wins in his rookie campaign. Gilchrist captured the pole position and came home second in last year's season finale ARCA event at Atlanta Motor Speedway -- his first-ever start in the series.
"When the offer came to drive the Channellock Chevy, I couldn't pass it up," said Gilchrist. "SABCO has put together a competitive team, and that was obvious in Bristol. It's now my job to duplicate what Sterling did and get the Channellock Chevy to Victory Lane."