BACE Motorsports signs Michner for 1999 By Shawn A. Akers BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 14, 1998) BACE Motorsports Friday announced that it has reached a sponsorship agreement with the Bayer Corporation Consumer Care Division for the 1999 season for a...
BACE Motorsports signs Michner for 1999 By Shawn A. Akers
BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 14, 1998) BACE Motorsports Friday announced that it has reached a sponsorship agreement with the Bayer Corporation Consumer Care Division for the 1999 season for a car that will be driven by USAC standout Andy Michner in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division.
Michner, a 29-year-old native of Grass Lake, Mich., is driving a limited Indy Racing League schedule this season. He finished eighth in the Indianapolis 500 in May and 12th in the Visionaire 500 at Charlotte in July. He plans to run the remainder of the 1998 IRL schedule.
Like Tony Stewart before him, the switch to NASCAR from the open-wheel ranks will be a bit of an adjustment for Michner, but one that he's willing to make.
"I'm used to running 40 to 60 times a year, and with NASCAR, that kinda gives me an opportunity to do that," Michner said. "I like to race as much as I can, lately, in everything from go-karts to Legends cars to IRL cars. I think there's a tremendous market value at NASCAR. To be associated with Bayer/Alka-Seltzer and Visionaire is just a tremendous opportunity for me in NASCAR."
And to drive for an owner like Bill Baumgardner, who has put together three consecutive NASCAR Busch Series championship teams, is that much more incentive for Michner, who has 19 career wins in the USAC Series.
"He's (Baumgardner) already shown me the stick that he's going to beat me with if we bend any equipment," Michner joked. "I've talked to Johnny Benson (a fellow Michigan native who won a championship for Baumgardner in 1995).
"Obviously the name speaks for itself. In the weeks that I've known Bill the chemistry mix is real good. That's what it takes to be successful in NASCAR. I'm looking forward to it. I know I've got a learning curve to go through, and with a team like BACE I would hope they would accelerate it for me."
Veteran Gary Cogswell will be the crew chief for the Bayer entry next season.
Baumgardner said "the plan" is for BACE Motorsports to field three teams in the NASCAR Busch Series next season. However, the status of the other BACE Motorsports teams -- the No. 74 FINA Chevrolet with driver Randy LaJoie and the No. 33 Kleenex Chevrolet team with driver Tim Fedewa -- has yet to be announced. Both have been rumored to be making the jump to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1999.
The car number for Michner has yet to be determined as well. Baumgardner said that there is "a good chance of seeing Michner run a race" later on this season in the NASCAR Busch Series for BACE Motorsports. When that will happen will be determined at a later date.
"We've already ordered the equipment package and the car package for this team," Baumgardner said. "Now it's just a matter of getting everything together and doing some testing.
Michner said the team has already tested at tracks like Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway and Walt Disney World Speedway in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Bayer currently sponsors Buckshot Jones in the NASCAR Busch Series. Jones will make the step up to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series next season.
It was also announced Friday that Visionaire will be an associate sponsor on Michner's car.
Source: CART Online