NWS: Michael Waltrip to race Pacific Raceways event

Kent, Wash. (July 1, 2003) -- Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., is pleased to announce that two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip, will join NASCAR Elite Division, Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series drivers in the first running of the...

Kent, Wash. (July 1, 2003) -- Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash., is pleased to announce that two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip, will join NASCAR Elite Division, Raybestos Brakes Northwest Series drivers in the first running of the Northwest Chevy Dealers 150 presented by Comcast, the weekend of August 23/24, 2003.

In a sport built on superstars, Waltrip, one of NASCAR's prominent racing personalities sits near the top in Winston Cup championship points, and fan popularity.

Waltrip is the real thing, what you see is what you get, it's never an act. Waltrip rarely masks his true nature. His points are never jaded and his opinions are never stated in a biting manner making him a favorite throughout the racing community.

"I let people know how I feel about things. Why not? They may not listen, but at least I know I've said my piece," said Waltrip.

"Racing with the Northwest Series at Pacific Raceways will be a challenge. Everyone mentions elevation changes, long straights, and winding turns. I've seen the layout of the track on paper. With a couple good bottle necks it looks like you're on the gas more than not, it should be a great event."

Pacific Raceways rolls out the red carpet and steps up to the plate with festivities for the Northwest Chevy Dealers 150 presented by Comcast weekend, beginning Saturday August 23rd. Fans will be treated to a festival atmosphere, NASCAR Elite Division practice, and qualifying.

Following qualifying, race fans will be invited to join elite division drivers for the Pacific Raceways afterglow party amid an afternoon and evening of onstage entertainment featuring; Rob Garrett and Las Vegas show girls with a live band, Neil Diamond impersonator act, Austin Powers impersonator with his "SHAGUAR", Harley Brumbaugh and his "Horns a Plenty", face painting, balloon twisting, and a caricature artist, Sea Fair Pirates, Sea Fair Hydro Planes, enjoy the Chevrolet National Tour featuring Chevy Stock Cars and a virtual reality racing opportunity.

The Saturday evening festivities will close in grand style with the GMAC fireworks display, one of the largest displays in the Northwest this year.

In support the Northwest Legends Touring Series will bring four classes of 1930's coupe and sedan machines to negotiate the complicated turns and elevation changes of the 2.25-mile circuit prior to the Aug. 24th main event.

Pacific Raceways, which opened in 1960, has undergone more than $10 million in improvements over the past two years. Renovations include separating the road track from the drag strip so that each course is now independent and certified.

"We've been very busy here since January of 2002. General maintenance and attention to finer details had been lacking here for many years," said Jason Fiorito, president of Pacific Raceways.

Fan favorite improvements include; great concessions by Outlaw BBQ, ample parking, sparkling clean bathrooms, replacing and expanding grandstands, adding new terraced viewing areas which overlook key turns and the backside of the road course allowing upwards of 25,000 race spectators.

Fiorito comments, "It has been our mission to return this facility to its previous glory as the premier motorsports facility within the region. Hosting the NASCAR Elite Division is one more step in that direction. We're one of the most challenging road courses in the nation and this race will be one fans simply won't want to miss. It's not everyday they will see NASCAR on a road course, let alone one as challenging as ours. Elevation changes, and hair pin turns make this a great race for spectators and drivers alike."

"It has been a goal to bring family entertainment, and the excitement of NASCAR racing back to Pacific Raceways. It's good to know event sponsors like Chevrolet and Comcast value the motorsports platform. I'm also very pleased Michael Waltrip will be competing. His presence adds a dimension of excitement and allows Northwest NASCAR fans to see a Winston Cup driver in action," said Fiorito.

He continues, "Our sponsors have the same passion and loyalty toward NASCAR and Pacific Raceways that we do, and through their leadership we are able to bring NASCAR racing excitement back to the Seattle Metropolitan Area. It will be unlike any other, one fans won't want to miss"

The last NASCAR event hosted on Pacific Raceways challenging 2.25-mile road course was in 1986 when Dale Earnhardt took the win while racing the NASCAR Winston West Series.

Scott Conway, Chevrolet's marketing manager for the Pacific Northwest comments, "The Northwest Chevy dealers are proud to help bring NASCAR excitement back to the Pacific Raceways. With the addition of Michael Waltrip to the field, fans can expect some revved-up action."

Tickets for the event are now on-sale by calling 253-639-5927 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. A two-day general admission pass is $55 per person; $65 for the VIP area.

Pacific Raceways is located at 31001 -- 144th Avenue SE. Gates for the Northwest Chevy Dealers NASCAR 150 open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, August 23rd and at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 24. For more information about the race, visit www.pacificraceways.com.

In the unlikely event the NASCAR race scheduled for August 23rd at Bristol, Tenn., is postponed due to weather, Michael Waltrip may not be available to compete in this event.

About Pacific Raceways:
Pacific Raceways is a leading promoter of motorsports activities in the Pacific Northwest and currently promotes more than 300 events annually, including bike racing, club racing, sports cars, and the Northwest's biggest drag races, including the nationally-televised Carquest Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, and NOW, NASCAR is back!

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Michael Waltrip