TALLADEGA, AL - (APRIL 17, 2001) - For a majority of the season opening NAPA 300 NASCAR Busch Grand National race in Daytona Beach, it appeared the cars of teammates Jeff Purvis and Mike McLaughlin would record a 1-2 finish. With Purvis leading...
TALLADEGA, AL - (APRIL 17, 2001) - For a majority of the season opening NAPA 300 NASCAR Busch Grand National race in Daytona Beach, it appeared the cars of teammates Jeff Purvis and Mike McLaughlin would record a 1-2 finish. With Purvis leading the charge and McLaughlin helping his teammate along, hopes were high for victory. Those hopes were dashed late in the race when Matt Kenseth and Joe Nemechek got together, collecting the # 18 MBNA Pontiac driven by Purvis. McLaughlin continued on for a sixth place finish.
Now, the series heads to the second restrictor plate race of the year, the Subway 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. Purvis will be driving a new MBNA Pontiac and McLaughlin will be behind the wheel of the same # 20 unsponsored Pontiac he drove in Daytona Beach. McLaughlin's crew chief Tim Shutt has made a few improvements to the car, in hopes for a victory.
The two drivers realize the importance of working together in the draft.
"Jeff and I worked well together in Daytona and we were nearly able to win the race, I think we can be just as effective this weekend," McLaughlin said. "It's real important to have that partner out there and work to cover each other in the draft."
Purvis will be counting on help from McLaughlin to improve upon a third place finish in Talladega last year.
"Our cars should both be real strong this weekend, hopefully we can celebrate together in victory lane on Saturday," Purvis said. "If we can stay together all afternoon, I believe we will be tough to beat. Doug Richert (crew chief) and all the guys have worked hard to replace the car that we lost in Daytona, a win would be real special."
Keep an eye on these two Joe Gibbs Racing teammates on Saturday. With a little luck and the strong horsepower of the Dennis Fischer built engines, it may be time for a celebration for Joe Gibbs Racing.
The search continues for a sponsor for the # 20 Pontiac driven by Mike McLaughlin. The Waterloo, NY native currently stands in 5th place in the season long points race. Teammate Jeff Purvis has the # 18 MBNA Pontiac in seventh place currently.
Jeff Purvis won consecutive Bud pole awards in 1994 and 1995 at The Talladega Superspeedway. Purvis also lists and ARCA pole and win to his credit in 1994.