Gaerte set to return as owner-driver

Gaerte Starts Racing Team With Benic By Richard Day ROCHESTER, IN (October 31) - Joe Gaerte, the World of Outlaws' Rookie of the Year in 1989, announced Tuesday that he will return to the series...

Gaerte Starts Racing Team With Benic By Richard Day ROCHESTER, IN (October 31) - Joe Gaerte, the World of Outlaws' Rookie of the Year in 1989, announced Tuesday that he will return to the series in his own car next season. "I'm really looking forward to it," Gaerte said of his role as a driver/owner. "I've done it before, so it won't be anything new to me." Gaerte has already taken his first big step as an owner, hiring Scott Benic as his crew chief. Benic was the head mechanic for the Two Winners Racing team when Gaerte drove the #9TW Maxim in 1994. "I've worked with Scott before, so we should get off to a good start," Gaerte said. "He knows how I like the car set up, and I know how he thinks. Hopefully, all I'll have to do is drive the car and pay the bills." Gaerte admitted he might be paying the bills out of his own pocket when the World of Outlaws opens the season at St. Augustine Speedway February 15-17. "We might have to start the season without a sponsor," the son of legendary engine builder Earl Gaerte said. "I've been working on one for a couple of months, but it's a slow process." Joe said he will race Maxim chassis and have the number "3G" on his top wing. He will put Gaerte engines under his hood, of course. Gaerte won a All-Stars championships in 1987 and 1988 before joining the World of Outlaws tour with Two Winners Racing co-owner Tom Wimmer in 1989. He won an "A" Feature at Kings Speedway en route to a fourth-place finish in the point standings as a rookie. Winning four more main events pushed Gaerte into third place in the Skoal Outlaw Series points race in 1990 and 1991. After pursuing a stock car ride for a year, Joe returned as Verlin Chupp's driver in 1993. He won a pair of "A" Features and finished 14th in the point standings. Gaerte rejoined forces with Wimmer as Two Winners Racing fielded three cars in 1994 and ranked just ahead of teammate Greg Hodnett in eighth place. He drove Al Hamilton's #77 Cornwell Tools J&J the first half of last season, and finished the year in the #3DB sprinter owned by Ed Ulyate. Despite missing 25 events, Gaerte recorded 20 top-10 finishes to finish 10th in the point standings. WoO

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Series World of Outlaws