MWS: Season opener Gateway preview

Re/Max Challenge Series, NASCAR Touring competitors now turn to Gateway International Raceway for opener. DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (April 28, 2002)^×RE/MAX Challenge Series, NASCAR Touring competitors have tried twice to get their 2002 campaign ...

Re/Max Challenge Series, NASCAR Touring competitors now turn to Gateway International Raceway for opener.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (April 28, 2002)^×RE/MAX Challenge Series, NASCAR Touring competitors have tried twice to get their 2002 campaign underway, but both efforts have been thwarted by rain. With the wet weather behind, focus of the series turns to Gateway International Raceway in Suburban St. Louis for the start of the season.

Thirty-six competitors are scheduled to take the green flag for the 125-mile affair, Sunday, May 5 at 12:30 p.m. (CT). Practice and qualifying are slated for Saturday afternoon, May 4. The race will be run in conjunction with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event and is scheduled for tape delayed broadcast on the SPEED Channel, May 13 at 7:00 p.m. (CT).

The RE/MAX Challenge 125 marks the first time in 16 years that the series hasn't opened at the Rockford Speedway.

"The way I look at it, it's 180 points to win, whether we're at Rockford or Gateway or wherever," said Brian Hoppe, a two-time Gateway winner. "All I know is that with a 13 race schedule, when you're racing for the championship, you can't afford to have one bad race."

With two wins in six series trips, Hoppe has been the most successful driver at the 1.25-mile oval. Mike Garvey, Jason Schuler, Justin Diercks and Steve Carlson have also found victory lane at the track, one of the fastest the RE/MAX Challenge Series will travel to.

Early entrants include several from the Hills Bros. All-Pro series, an identical NASCAR late model touring series with roots in the southeastern United States.

"It's great to have the All-Pro guys come run with us," noted Hoppe. "I'll go and run with them later on this year. That is what's great about the similar rules and this new SPEED Channel TV deal, you'll see the guys cross over and run other series from time to time."

The RE/MAX Challenge Series is one of eight NASCAR Touring Series that blanket the United States. NASCAR Touring Series are extremely popular with fans and competitors. They can provide a competitor with an entire career, or they can provide valuable experience to competitors moving through the NASCAR ranks. Corporate sponsors make significant contributions to NASCAR Touring Series point funds. These sponsors include Anheuser-Busch, Featherlite, Goody's Headache Powders, Hills Bros Coffee, Raybestos Brakes, RE/MAX International, Inc., and RJ Reynolds brand, Winston.

-nascar-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Jason Schuler , Mike Garvey , Justin Diercks , Steve Carlson