BNS: James Pritchard Motorsports ready for 2003 season

Since James Pritchard Motorsports and driver Don Wagner, both of Dover, New Jersey, competed in the 2002 NASCAR Busch North Series finale at Lime Rock Park, preparations have been going on non-stop with an eye to the 2003 season. With twelve BNS...

Since James Pritchard Motorsports and driver Don Wagner, both of Dover, New Jersey, competed in the 2002 NASCAR Busch North Series finale at Lime Rock Park, preparations have been going on non-stop with an eye to the 2003 season. With twelve BNS races to be televised on Speed Channel this year, interest in the series is picking up and the Pritchard team is looking forward to being a part of it.

Highlighting the off-season preparations is the acquisition of a new car, bought from a Busch South team. The car is straight, clean, and doesn't have a scratch on it. It came well-equipped, leaving the team in the envious position of not having to spend more money outfitting the car to race. A new engine from Horsepower Engineering in Enfield, Connecticut is in the car, and new decals have been applied by Art Ohlsen of Shield Graphics.

Returning sponsor Mannings USA, an on-site thermal specialist company that offers a complete line of heat treatment services and products, will continue to adorn the hood and rear fenders of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo, allowing the team to compete in a six-race schedule in 2003.

"We're going to do about a half a dozen races this year," Wagner said. "I've got a great crew again, with some guys from my Modified team and all of Jim's Busch North guys. Mannings is on board big time, and they're a big help. I had a lot of fun last year at Stafford and Lime Rock. Stafford's a great track, a great facility, and that's one of the reasons that we're going to make that our first race this year there."

Wagner, who has experience both in open-wheel Modifieds, where he races at St.Johns, Pennsylvania's Mountain Speedway, and in the old NASCAR Sportsman division. He will continue to race his Modified, which finished second in points in 2002, as often as his Busch North schedule allows.

"You really can't compare Busch North to the Sportsman division because the Sportsman ran on big tracks," he said. "I ran Charlotte and Pocono. Busch North generally runs on the smaller tracks. But basically they're the same car, though Busch North has much more power than the Sportsman cars, which had tiny two-barrel carburetors. They were all about momentum, hold it to the floor and don't lift for anything."

With Pritchard and Wagner both enjoying their first two races together last year, they're looking forward to seeing their team grow and run more races, perhaps tackling some Busch South races down the road.

"You have to have ambitions, and we have the ambition to maybe run some Busch South sometime," Wagner said. "But we have to do well in Busch North first, and these guys are capable of doing that. We'll walk before we can run."

-jpm-

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