March 14, 2000 (Las Vegas, Nev.) - Orleans Racing will pull double duty on March 18 at Phoenix International Raceway where it has entered both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Winston West series events. Saturday's Chevy Trucks 150 is the first of...
March 14, 2000 (Las Vegas, Nev.) - Orleans Racing will pull double duty on March 18 at Phoenix International Raceway where it has entered both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck and Winston West series events.
Saturday's Chevy Trucks 150 is the first of several Truck series races on the NAPA/Martin Senour-sponsored team's 2000 schedule. The Winston West's season opens with the NAPA Auto Parts 100, which will follow directly after the Chevy Trucks 150.
Shane Wilson, former car chief for Jack Sprague's championship Truck team, has agreed to a three-race deal with Orleans Racing to head its Truck program.
"The team is feeling good going into Phoenix," Wilson commented. "We have experienced guys going in with realistic goals. The whole team is newly put together, but we have experienced people, very good people, throughout the team. We're all on the same page, which is not always the case."
"Shane's been great," said Brendan Gaughan, Orleans Racing driver. "We've been getting along well. He definitely knows his stuff. I started in off-road racing, so we've got some language differences, but we're working hard and learning a lot."
Gaughan continued, "We've got a great team of professional mechanics behind us, some with 10-plus years of experience. We're anxious to get on the track and realize the fruits of our labor. Both sides should do well this weekend."
The Orleans Racing crew includes members both from Orleans Racing president Bill McAnally's 1999 Winston West championship team, and from the former Orleans Motorsports. Crew chief Chris Diederich is pleased with how well the team is gelling.
"We have a great group this year that represents a wealth of experience. I believe that, with this crew, we have what we'll need to defend the Winston West championship and make a good showing in the Trucks," Diederich commented. "Robert Dornbeck will be back as my car chief, and Scott and Will have joined us from last year's team. I'm very excited to be working also with Kenny and Marty from last year's Orleans team, and, of course, with Shane."
Bill McAnally said the team is also looking forward to visiting with NAPA's owners and employees from the Phoenix distribution center, and will have a racecar on display in NAPA's hospitality tent throughout the weekend. NAPA is the title sponsor for this weekend's NASCAR Winston West.
He said, "We're real excited opening the season up with the NAPA Auto Parts 100. NAPA is expecting great attendance, and will get great exposure out of sponsoring the race along with our Truck and car. What a way to kick off our 2000 season!"
The Chevy Trucks 150 will be broadcast live on ESPN on Saturday, March 18 beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Orleans Racing owns and operates the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts/Martin Senour Automotive Finishes/NAPA Filters/NAPA Belts & Hoses/Orleans Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR Winston West Series and the No. 62 Craftsman Truck Series teams, operated under the direction of team co-owner Bill McAnally. In addition to winning the 1999 NASCAR Winston West championship, McAnally's team led the series in the Gatorade Front Runner Award and the Clevite Engine Builder Award races, laps completed and best average finish. Results from the 1999 Winston West season included two wins, five top fives and ten top ten finishes and two Bud Pole Awards.