MT: Kaukauna - Ritchie Wauters spotlight

Wauters Brings NASCAR Experience to ASA Midwest Monday, August 6th 2007, (Daytona Beach, FL) -- When a driver jumps behind the wheel early on in their career, they may often dream of someday climbing behind the wheel of a NASCAR machine....

Wauters Brings NASCAR Experience to ASA Midwest

Monday, August 6th 2007, (Daytona Beach, FL) -- When a driver jumps behind the wheel early on in their career, they may often dream of someday climbing behind the wheel of a NASCAR machine. Many fans may herald those drivers as the "next Matt Kenseth" or the next driver to make it to NASCAR. However, there are many success stories of those who turned wrenches on those machines. Green Bay WI's Ritchie Wauters is one of those stories.

Wauters maintains and crew chiefs the super late model that will be driven by NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kyle Busch. Busch is set to make his second appearance with the Kwik Trip ASA Midwest Tour presented by Echo Outdoor Power Equipment when the tour invades Wisconsin International Raceway for the Factory Motor Parts 150. Two other entries will be fielded by Wauters. Hueytown AL's J.R. Norris and Wauters' son Spencer will also challenge the ASA Midwest regulars at WIR.

The story begins in Green Bay WI when Wauters built machines for many successful drivers in the northeast Wisconsin area. One of those drivers is Scott Hansen who won six track championships at WIR with the help of Wauters. Eleven years ago Wauters decided to do what many drivers do to get recognized by NASCAR by moving south to Concord, NC. He immediately found success as he accepted a position working with Kenny Wallace in the NASCAR Cup Series then in the NASCAR Busch Series. For the past four years Wauters has been working as a crew chief for Bill Bellough's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "It's been a great deal for me," said Wauters. "I've never had a real '8 to5.' I've just been in racing my whole life."

All of Wauters hard work has paid off and he has thoroughly enjoyed his time working in NASCAR. "I'm finally making good money doing what I love doing. Not many people can say that," he said. "I can travel around and see the country and have fun doing it," he added.

Wauters career received a jump start some five years ago when NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kurt Busch called. Busch inquired about a ride in the Snowball Derby in Pensacola, FL. Kurt decided to bring his then 16 year-old brother Kyle along. "We put a deal together for Kyle too. Since then we have become good friends," said Wauters.

The rest is history. As Kyle Busch worked his way up through the lower NASCAR ranks and eventually to the Nextel Cup signing with Hendrick Racing, he stayed in contact with Wauters. "We put together a deal to put him in our truck. It worked out pretty well as we won the first three races that he was in the truck," said Wauters.

Busch and Wauters have been successful with the super late model and should be a force to be reckoned with at WIR on Tuesday, August 7th. Busch set fast time and won the feature event on the Thursday night at WIR before he made his ASA Midwest debut in the Echo Chainsaw/Five Car Stock Car Bodies No Bull 100 presented by Briggs and Stratton and Lancaster Toyota at Madison International Speedway. He was third fastest and finished sixth. "If it has a steering wheel in it, he wants to race it and I want to help him," said Wauters of Busch. "I believe one hundred percent that his is the best race car driver out there."

A repeat performance for Wauters and Busch will be challenged by the stars of the ASA Midwest Tour as well as NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Johnny Sauter, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers Ron Hornaday and Ken Schrader and short track legends Dick Trickle and Rich Bickle.

Advance tickets and VIP packages are on sale now through the ASA Midwest Tour's website at www.asamidwesttour.com.

Joining the ASA Midwest Tour will be the Big 8 Series. Fans will have the opportunity to see the best Super Late Model drivers compete in a 150-lap event along with the best Limited Late Model drivers compete in a 38-lap feature event all in one night.

Qualifying will begin at 4:30 pm. Autograph session at 5:45 p.m. and the racing action will get underway at 7:00 p.m.

Wisconsin International Raceway is located on Highway KK just east of Highway 55 in Kaukauna, WI.

-credit: asamt

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Series Stock car
Drivers Rich Bickle , Matt Kenseth , Dick Trickle , Kenny Wallace , Kurt Busch , Ron Hornaday Jr. , J.R. Norris , Kyle Busch , Scott Hansen