Win-Tron Racing Launches Full USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Effort "Matt Merrell Set For Northern Division Championship Effort" LAKEVILLE, Minnesota (April 14, 2008) - - Win-Tron Racing (formerly Country Joe Racing) announced today the team will compete...
Win-Tron Racing Launches Full USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Effort
"Matt Merrell Set For Northern Division Championship Effort"
LAKEVILLE, Minnesota (April 14, 2008) - - Win-Tron Racing (formerly Country Joe Racing) announced today the team will compete in the full 2008 United Speed Alliance Racing (USAR) Pro Cup Series beginning with the 2008 North Division season opener at South Boston Speedway (South Boston, Virginia) on Saturday April 19.
Win-Tron Racing will focus on the North Division championship, the team's first try at the coveted honor. With the team's prior success in the American Speed Association and the ARCA RE/MAX Series, the Minnesota based operation is ready to add its winning ways to the historic short track racing sanction.
Matt Merrell, an accomplished short track racer will drive the team's No. 32 Dodge entry. Mike Resop who joined Win-Tron Racing owners Kevin Cywinski and Nate Thiesse during their two year tenure in the American Speed Association series in 2003 and 2004 will call the shots as crew chief for Merrell on race weekends.
Merrell will run for two championships this season. In addition to the driver's championship, Merrell will also make a bid for USAR Rookie-of-the-Year.
Resop reunites with the Win-Tron Racing group after a stint in the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series working for Kevin Harvick, Inc. and Hall of Fame Racing respectively.
Resop and Merrell have worked side-by-side in the team's state-of-the-art Lakeville shop preparing the team's machines with their first challenge as driver and crew chief on the horizon.
"We're very excited about our latest project, the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series," said Win-Tron's Nate Thiesse. "Just like our program in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, we feel that our USAR program is strong and we can produce the same type of results. We're very confident in Mike Resop capabilities and the determination that Matt Merrell shows as a driver is exactly what we are looking for. It's a win-win situation."
Thiesse continued, "We're not expecting to go set the world on fire early in the season. We're looking for consistency. However, we know that we have put the components together to build a solid foundation. Matt knows how to get up on the wheel and Mike is a leader that we feel will take this new program to the top. We hope the on-track results though will begin to show immediately."
He continued, "Practice makes perfect. We're focused on the Northern Division, but any opportunity we have to put Matt in a test session or have him hitch along for our ARCA tour, he'll be right there. He is eager to learn which we believe will make him a better driver. Matt is our number one choice to unveil Win Tron's Driver Development program in USAR competition."
For Merrell who recently relocated to Minnesota, a chance to compete for Win-Tron Racing is literally a dream come true.
"Words cannot express how thrilled I am about this opportunity," Merrell stated. "I've aligned myself with champions and I believe we have the possibilities of being a serious contender for the championship this season. I'm just ready to get behind the wheel."
The North Division will consist of tracks that Win-Tron Racing is no stranger to including The Milwaukee Mile and Salem Speedway which Merrell believes will play into his hands.
"The Northern Division schedule is very stout. There are some tough tracks that we'll compete on where mind over matter will come quickly into play. Luckily, Win-Tron Racing has substantial success at some of the tracks which puts us to an advantage. We're gunning for consistency and a championship, but there is no question in my mind that we can't storm into victory lane as well."
Tejas Exotics, Merrell Lease Service and Win-Tron Driver Development will hold the sponsorship roles on the No. 32 entry this season.