BUSCH: Xpress Motorsports 'Xpands' Schedule

Xpress Xpands Schedule IWX Motor Freight to Sponsor Full Busch Series Schedule MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 7, 1999) -- Xpress Motorsports, the team which fields the No. 61 IWX Motor Freight Pontiac, will race the full 32-race NASCAR Busch...

Xpress Xpands Schedule IWX Motor Freight to Sponsor Full Busch Series Schedule

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 7, 1999) -- Xpress Motorsports, the team which fields the No. 61 IWX Motor Freight Pontiac, will race the full 32-race NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division campaign this season.

Recently, the team announced a 20-race program with NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Derrike Cope. That schedule will be enhanced as the team will compete in the remaining 12 races with Tony Roper handling the driving chores.

Roper, 33, a native of Fair Grove, Mo., has competed in the last two seasons in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. In those two seasons, Roper has had 11 top-ten finishes and his series' best second-place finish at Indianapolis Raceway Park last season. He has finished in the top-20 in points in both seasons.

"Derrike will drive the car in the first 12 Grand National races," said team manager/crew chief Dave Fuge. "That is where the Winston Cup and Busch Series schedules start to overlap. Tony had some very strong runs last season that really got our attention. We think he's a great fit for the program that we have in place. "Tony has started working at our shop and will do so throughout the year," he continued. "He will attend all of our races and tests to get a good feel as to what we are doing and what we are looking for. Once we hit Nazareth (May 23), Tony will get behind the wheel and start driving for us."

Roper has enthusiastically started working with the team as preparations continue for this season.

"This is a great opportunity for me," said Roper. "I've raced against this team for the past two years and I can say that everything here is first-class. I have always worked on everything I've raced so this gives me the chance to see exactly what I've got when I get my chance to drive in May. "What NASCAR and Busch are doing in the Grand National Series this year is very exciting," he continued. "They are investing a lot of money to grow the series and that makes the opportunities better for us young drivers. I'm just happy that I get the opportunity to be part of it with the IWX Motor Freight team."

NASCAR and Anheuser-Busch have announced a program to greatly enhance the Busch Series, Grand National Division in 1999. The program includes a new series logo, a complete marketing platform including Busch Series advertising and an increase in the point fund from $650,000 in 1998 to $1.5 million in 1999.

IWX Motor Freight will sponsor the team throughout the 1999 season. IWX Motor Freight is a Springfield, Mo. based trucking firm with a fleet of over 400 trucks. IWX serves 48 states and annually the trucks will log over 100 million miles. The company also has terminals in Columbus, Ind. and Kingman, Ariz.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Derrike Cope