BUSCH: Richmond: Dave Blaney preview

Blaney's No. 31 Busch Car To Pay Tribute To Police Officers at Richmond Race RICHMOND, Va. (May 11, 2004)- Dave Blaney's Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Ford will pay tribute to police officers in Friday night's NASCAR Busch Series race at ...

Blaney's No. 31 Busch Car To Pay Tribute To Police Officers at Richmond Race

RICHMOND, Va. (May 11, 2004)- Dave Blaney's Whelen Engineering/Marsh Racing Ford will pay tribute to police officers in Friday night's NASCAR Busch Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

The special paint scheme adorning the No. 31 Ford will coincide with National Police Week, May 9-15, a tribute to law enforcement officers both past and present who have faithfully devoted their lives and service to their communities.

The tribute continues 90 miles north of the Richmond track in Washington D.C. Police departments from all parts of the world will gather at the National Law Enforcement Memorial to pay respect to their brothers and sisters who were killed in action.

The Whelen/Marsh Ford will be painted black and white, the universal symbol of a police car. The rear quarter panels will be decorated with a badge and wording that will read, "America's Hometown Heroes." The lettering on the trunklid of the car will be "Tribute to Police."

"We felt this would be the opportune time to dedicate our car to police and to raise people's awareness of the sacrifices that police officers make everyday - those who have retired or passed on and those who are still out there protecting our homeland," said Phil Kurze, director of motorsports for Whelen Engineering."

Kurze also noted that police officers are like a member of the family at Whelen Engineering, a maker of emergency lighting and early warning sirens, based in Chester, Conn.

"The departments of police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) are the biggest part of Whelen's business with rotating beacons, strobe and warning lights for vehicles," said Kurze. "We are honored to pay tribute to the police with our Richmond racecar and hope to do the same in the future for firefighters and emergency medical services personnel."

Blaney, who finished ninth in the Whelen/Marsh Ford at last year's fall race in Richmond, is both excited and proud to drive a car recognizing police officers.

"This is pretty special to drive a car paying tribute to an outstanding group of people, who are always there - 24/7 to protect us." said Blaney. "I would like nothing better than to put on a good show in Richmond and gain as much recognition and awareness to police officers all over the world."

Blaney tested at the Richmond track last week and according to crew chief Ted Marsh it was a productive session.

"The test was good, but we wanted to be excellent" said Marsh. "I think we figured out the front-end setup for Dave. The tires seemed to be the problem, but I think we have it isolated now.

"The tire issue is a continuing learning process and we're at somewhat of a disadvantage because we're not out there every week. We're kind of playing catch up with the other teams. But, we normally can run pretty well at Richmond, it is one of our favorite tracks."

Friday night's Funai 250 will the third of 10 Busch races that the Whelen/Marsh team is scheduled to compete at in 2004. The race will be televised on FX, beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

-w/m-

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dave Blaney