* Rookie driver, veteran team: Michelle Theriault joins Spraker Racing * Five series drivers to make pre-season visit with media at Martinsville * Sixteen-year-old Marc Davis heads west before eastern season opener DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Mar.
* Rookie driver, veteran team: Michelle Theriault joins Spraker Racing
* Five series drivers to make pre-season visit with media at Martinsville
* Sixteen-year-old Marc Davis heads west before eastern season opener
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Mar. 27, 2007) -- A veteran NASCAR Busch East Series owner/driver will field a fleet of cars for a young female driver who will begin her first full season of NASCAR racing next month.
Michelle Theriault of Bristol, Conn., who turns 21 on April 17, will drive Glock-sponsored Chevrolets in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series this year. The series opens with the Greased Lightning 150 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, a .5-mile paved oval in Greenville, S.C. April 28.
Theriault and her sponsor, Glock, Inc., a leading manufacturer of hand guns preferred by law enforcement, joined Spraker Racing of Mooresville, N.C. for the series full schedule of 13 events, plus the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
Theriault has methodically developed her racing career since starting her career at six-years-old in quarter-midgets at the "Little T" at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway in 1992.
She advanced through Legends cars to Pro Late Models at Lanier National Speedway in Gainesville, Ga. Like Thompson, Lanier is a NASCAR Whelen All American Series track. She also competed in Late Models, Super Late Models and touring Late Models. She also made one NASCAR Grand National Division West Series start in 2005 at Roseburg, Ore.
Prior to the opening of the NASCAR Busch East Series season, Theriault and the new Glock/Spraker team put their efforts on the track for an ARCA race in Lakeland, Fla., in March. Theriault qualified eighth fastest and ran in the top-10 until problems sidelined the effort after a solid 50 laps.
Now the team is focused on the looming NASCAR Busch East Series season opener at Greenville-Pickens.
"We actually start testing our NASCAR Busch East Series car at Greenville-Pickens next week to shake-down the car," Theriault said. "We'll probably go there and test one or two times just to get me acclimated to the feel of bias-ply tires because it's different from what I have been doing. They react a little bit differently. From testing, I'll be able to get the feel for what those do.
"I've tested there once before (in another type of race car), but I've never raced there," she said of the Greenville track. "At least I've been there to pretty much know the line and that type of stuff."
Spraker Racing team owner Jeff Spraker is a familiar name in the NASCAR Busch East Series. A longtime driver with plenty of experience as a driver in the series, he's also driven in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. He's also driven in 23 NASCAR Busch Series events and nine NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events. Spraker Racing also builds and repairs a variety of race cars.
"I think Michelle has got a lot of potential," Spraker said. "She's shown a lot of promise in testing and the tracks the series is going to fit her style. I think it will be a great experience for Glock, for Michelle, and NASCAR, too."
The only previous woman to race full-time in the NASCAR Busch East Series was Carey Heath of Essex, Mass., in 2003. Although she missed one race, she finished 17th in the series point race and posted a pair of top-10 finishes. Heath also competed in the inaugural post-season NASCAR Toyota All Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway and finished 21st.
NEWS & NOTES
Another TV First for Greenville-Pickens ... Greenville-Pickens Speedway's NASCAR Busch East Series season opening event on April 28 will be telecast live on HDNet, a showcase for the highest television technology, and for the second straight year, NASCAR Grand National Division racing. The historic .5-mile oval was the site of the first live flag-to-flag television broadcast of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race on April 10, 1971. Bobby Isaac won the event over hometown hero David Pearson, Dick Brooks, Dave Marcis and Benny Parsons. The track hosted 23 NNCS races between 1951 and 1971.
South Boston Celebrates ... South Boston (Va.) Speedway, separated from Martinsville Speedway by 60 miles, hosts the fourth NASCAR Busch East Series event of the 2007 season on June 2. It will be the first appearance of the series at the tradition-rich .4-mile oval. South Boston Speedway is celebrating its 50th anniversary season this year. The track hosted ten NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events between 1960 and 1971. The late Benny Parsons scored his first career NNCS win in the track's final NNCS event on May 9, 1971. The track has been a modern-era star-maker as well, and helped launch the careers of Jeff and Ward Burton, Stacy Compton, Elliott and Hermie Sadler, Denny Hamlin and many others. The track was also home to 2005 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Peyton Sellers.
Go West, Young Man ... In order to get some experience before he opens his rookie season of NASCAR Busch East Series competition, Marc Davis, 16, of Mitchelville, Md., has entered this weekend's NASCAR Grand National Division West Series season opener at Thunder Hill Raceway, a .375-mile paved oval in Kyle, Texas, near Austin. Davis is teamed with another 16-year-old, Joey Logano, in Joe Gibbs Racing's NASCAR Busch East Series driver development program.