BUSCH: Fred Wanke to team with Bickle/Smith Motorsports

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 11, 2000) - Bickle/Smith Motorsports today announced veteran NASCAR crew chief Fred Wanke has been retained in that capacity for the remainder of the 2000 season. The move reunites Wanke (pronounced One-Key) and ...

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 11, 2000) - Bickle/Smith Motorsports today announced veteran NASCAR crew chief Fred Wanke has been retained in that capacity for the remainder of the 2000 season. The move reunites Wanke (pronounced One-Key) and driver Rich Bickle for seven NASCAR Busch Series events this year beginning with the Carquest Auto Parts 250 at Gateway International Speedway in Madison, IL, July 29. "We're ecstatic to have Fred on board with us for the rest of this season," stated Ed Smith, co-owner of Bickle/Smith Motorsports with Bickle. "Fred and Rich have a long history of success in the NASCAR ranks and we're confident that will continue throughout the remainder of this season beginning with the Gateway race." Wanke and Bickle first teamed for a select-event NASCAR Busch Series schedule of events in 1995 that produced seven Top-15 finishes in just 11 races. The campaign was highlighted by a fifth-place finish in the Goody's 300 at Daytona (FL) International Speedway and a pole-winning run for the Red Dog 300 at Charlotte (now Lowes) Motor Speedway in Concord, NC Wanke and Bickle reunited in 1997, this time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. With Wanke serving as the team's truck chief, Bickle wheeled Darrell Waltrip's #17 Chevrolet to three wins and a second-place finish in the final NCTS season standings. The agreement between Wanke and Bickle/Smith to partner for the rest of the 2000 NBS season comes after the combination clicked for three top Busch Series runs earlier this year. Wanke guided Bickle to fifth-place finishes at South Boston (VA) Speedway and Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway in June. With Wanke calling the shots at Milwaukee (WI) earlier this month, Bickle moved from his 25th starting position to eighth in the first 100 laps before a flat tire cost the team two laps and another top finish. "They say chemistry is all-important in racing and Fred and I seem to have that," stated Bickle. "I think we proved that again this season at South Boston, Myrtle Beach and Milwaukee. For whatever reason, we seem to click. Fred's a master at getting a car or truck feeling right for a driver and fortunately, I'm going to be that driver for the rest of this season." In addition to the Gateway event, the Bickle-Wanke combination will compete in NASCAR Busch Series events at Michigan (Aug. 19), Richmond, VA (Sept. 8), Dover, DE (Sept. 23), Concord, NC (Oct. 28), Phoenix, AZ (Nov. 4) and Homestead, FL (Nov. 11). The effort will carry sponsorship from Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits and Aqua Velva. Bickle/Smith Motorsports is located in a 22,000 square foot facility in Mooresville (NC) Motorsports Center. In addition to the team's NASCAR Busch Series efforts, Bickle/Smith also executes fabrication, paint and body work contracts for several other NASCAR teams. Plans are to facilitate a full NASCAR racing schedule of events for Bickle out of the facility in 2001.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Rich Bickle , Darrell Waltrip