BUSCH: LaJoie subs for Bodine at Charlotte

LaJoie To Sub for Todd Bodine in Charlotte Busch Race CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 12, 2004) - The Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Team announced that two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie will substitute for Todd Bodine in Friday night's...

LaJoie To Sub for Todd Bodine in Charlotte Busch Race

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 12, 2004) - The Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Team announced that two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion Randy LaJoie will substitute for Todd Bodine in Friday night's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Bodine, who joined the Whelen/Marsh Busch team in early June, has a scheduling conflict -- he will be competing in this weekend's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth.

"Whelen Engineering has been associated with Randy in the past with his golf tournaments and we're thrilled that he has agreed to drive the No. 31 car this weekend," said Phil Kurze, Whelen's director of motorsports. "Randy's a champion driver and we look for a good weekend with him piloting the Whelen/Marsh Racing Ford."

LaJoie, 43, will drive a specially-designed car in Charlotte that will pay tribute to firefighters. It will be a different car, but the same paint scheme that was entered - but did not qualify -- in last month's Richmond race.

"I look forward to this ride and achieving a solid result in Charlotte," said LaJoie, a 15-time Busch Series race winner. "Driving a car that will pay tribute to firefighters is pretty special and we all want to give them something to be proud of this weekend."

The tribute to firefighters is the second in the series for Whelen Engineering America's Hometown Heroes Salute. At the spring Busch race in Richmond, Whelen's No. 31 Ford was dedicated to police officers.

"Firefighters have been close members of the Whelen family for 50 years and we're happy that we can have another opportunity to pay tribute to these brave people," said Kurze.

The fire engine red car with a white roof will have a diamond plate trim along the bottom. The America's Hometown Heroes theme on the rear quarter panels will showcase the Maltese Cross, the firefighters' universal badge of honor.

The trunklid will also be dedicated to firefighters and the wording on the rear bumper panel will be the same as is on the back of fire trucks -- KEEP BACK 500 FEET.

Whelen Engineering, a designer and manufacturer of emergency lighting and early warning sirens, based in Chester, Conn., is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Remaining Busch races scheduled for the Whelen/Marsh team after Charlotte will be at Atlanta (Oct. 31) and Homestead-Miami (Nov. 21).

Friday night's Busch race will be televised on TNT, beginning at 8 p.m. EDT.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Todd Bodine