BUSCH: Kansas: Aaron Fike preview

Aaron Fike and ...

Aaron Fike and #43 Ollie's Bargain Outlet Curb-Agajanian Dodge Set Sights on Kansas

- 21-Year-Old Open Wheel and Busch Series Star Prepared for Challenging Kansas City Race -

CORNELIUS, NC (October 7, 2004) -- After a successful test at Lowe's Motor Speedway last week and a 17th place finish at Dover, Aaron Fike and the #43 Ollie's Bargain Outlet Curb-Agajanian Dodge team is ready for this Saturday's Mr. Goodcents 300 at Kansas Speedway. This is Aaron's seventh Busch start and his first on Kansas Speedway.

"I really like running on mid-size tracks like Kansas," said Aaron. "We got a top-20 finish at Dover's mile and set some fast times at the Lowe's test, so Kansas will be perfect for our car."

The #43 Ollie's Bargain Outlet team has had their share of highs and lows so far this season, but crew chief Joe Shear thinks that Fike and the team are definitely ready for this weekend's events. "The cars we built for Kansas and Charlotte are great," he said. "Also, Aaron and the team are really stepping up their game as we hit the final stretch of races this season."

Open Wheel Star Aaron Fike Turning Sights on NASCAR

Two-time National Midget Driver of the Year, Fike's racing resume reads like a veteran's. Like NASCAR Nextel Cup stars Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne, Fike started his professional racing career in open wheel cars. He met with considerable success, winning more than 20 feature races in United States Auto Club (USAC) Midgets, Sprint Cars, and the premier Silver Crown Series. In 2001, Aaron broke Jeff Gordon's record and became the youngest driver ever to win in a Silver Crown Series race.

Aaron has limited experienced in full-bodied stock car competition, having driven in seven 2004 NASCAR Busch Series races and two 2003 ARCA events. Fike knows that he's still got a steep learning curve in stock car racing, as the cars are much heavier than his open-wheel racers. "I'm feeling better about the car every time I drive it," he said. "I know I have a ways to go, but with hard work and the great team we have, I know we can do it."

Aaron's career is aided by legendary car owners Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian. The Curb/Agajanian team has fielded cars in the Indy Racing League, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series, culminating in a victory at Richmond in 2003 by Johnny Sauter in the #43. Cary Agajanian sees the potential in Aaron. "Given time and experience, Aaron can be great stock car driver," he said. "He's done a great job so far and he's gaining the control necessary to go to the front."

Agajanian knows about spotting future stars. Besides co-owning the team, he's the managing director of Motorsports Management International (MMI), a company representing many of NASCAR's most successful drivers and brightest stars, including Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray.

Ollie's Bargain Outlet -- The Perfect Team Partner

Ollie's Bargain Outlet, Inc. is the primary sponsor of the 2004 #43 Curb-Agajanian NASCAR Busch Series entry. Ollie's purchases overproduced, overstocked and discontinued goods from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers and offers a compelling value to its customers by selling these products at prices typically 40% to 50% below suggested retail prices. Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, Ollie's Bargain Outlet has enjoyed tremendous growth and now has 33 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Dover, Delaware, with annual sales in excess of $105 million.

"Partnering with the Curb-Agajanian #43 NASCAR Busch Series team is an ideal situation for Ollie's," said Mark Butler, Chief Executive Officer, Ollie's Bargain Outlet. "Over the past several years, this race team has frequently outperformed its competitors while maintaining a significantly lower budget. Ollie's thrives on selling brand-name, top-quality products at deeply discounted prices, so being associated with a race team that over-delivers is a perfect match for our brand."


Practice for the Mr. Goodcents 300 at Kansas Speedway on Friday, October 8 at 10:00 AM EST. Qualifying will be held at 2:30 PM EST on Friday, televised live on SPEED. The race telecast will start at 2:00 PM EST on TNT on Saturday, October 9.


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Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Johnny Sauter , Kasey Kahne , Aaron Fike