TULSA, Okla. (May 14, 2003) - After much speculation in recent weeks, it was announced today that Zach Chappell and Penn Racing have officially opted to part company. During the off-season, it was announced that 2001 ASCS National ...
TULSA, Okla. (May 14, 2003) - After much speculation in recent weeks, it was announced today that Zach Chappell and Penn Racing have officially opted to part company.
During the off-season, it was announced that 2001 ASCS National champion Chappell of Talala, OK, would drive for Penn Racing in 2003. Penn Racing fielded a pair of cars on the 2002 ASCS National Tour, including the championship-winning mount driven by Tim Crawley along with the sixth-place machine piloted by Wayne Pennington.
After working throughout the off-season preparing cars for the 2003 season, Chappell has only driven for Penn Racing on two occasions: first on March 22 in the ASCS Sooner Region opener at Creek County Speedway, then again on April 11 in Sedalia, MO, where Chappell finished second to NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart.
Following the April 11 event in Sedalia, Penn Racing opted to skip the season-opening O'Reilly ASCS National tour event in Murfreesboro, AR, the next night due to damage sustained on Wayne Pennington's machine. Committed to running for the ASCS national championship, Chappell prepped the family-owned sprinter and won the season-opening ASCS National event. For a variety of undisclosed reasons, Penn Racing has yet to appear in ASCS competition, with Chappell aboard his father's machine for each race thus far in 2003, well over a month into the O'Reilly ASCS National Tour.
The possibility of Chappell and Penn Racing still teaming up for some races in 2003, at least on a limited basis, was still held out until discussions this week led to the mutual agreement that parting ways would be in the best interest of all involved.
Chappell is expected to stay on the O'Reilly ASCS National Tour presented by Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores and United Trailers, where he is currently ranked third, just 30 markers out of the lead, for the remainder of the season aboard the Champco Concrete Construction Carbone-powered Maxim. "We're gonna try to do the whole ASCS Tour," stated father and car owner David Chappell. "It'll be kind of tough, hopefully we can pick up another small sponsor or two so that Zach can stay out on the road and do the whole season."
No word yet on whether Gary and Angie Pennington, owners of Penn Racing, intend to hire a new driver for the second machine, or exactly when and where they intend to compete for the balance of the season.