Series notes 97-03-03

Silly Season Hits Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series By Richard Day NICHOLASVILLE, KY (March 3) - Silly season has hit the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series early this year. In a double- switch, 1996 Rookie of the Year...

Silly Season Hits Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series By Richard Day NICHOLASVILLE, KY (March 3) - Silly season has hit the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series early this year. In a double- switch, 1996 Rookie of the Year Joey Saldana left Gary Stanton's Mopar team for Brad Gray's #51 Stealth, prompting Stanton to hire Australian front-runner Garry Brazier. "I'm extremely happy to have Joey drive for us," Gray said Monday. "I consider him the best young racer in the country. We hope to get him back up front." Saldana, who drove the #75 Mopar Stealth during the second half of last season, said he and Stanton left on good terms. "I just felt like I had to make a change after (crew chief) Davey (Brown, Jr.) quit," Saldana said. "We weren't able to find a mechanic. I just told Gary that if we couldn't find anybody, I'd go back and learn how to race again. After last year, I was wondering if I could race any more. We got off to a tough start this year, too. A pair of crashes during the World of Outlaws' season opener at Manzanita Speedway destroyed two of Stanton's #75 Mopar Stealth sprinters. "Brad offered me a deal, and we're hoping to run with the World of Outlaws full-time next year (in 1998)," Saldana said. "I hope we're able to do it; I like running with the World of Outlaws." Stanton, in his second full season as owner of Mopar's World of Outlaws sprint car racing team, said he was surprised at Saldana's decision but was glad to have Brazier as his driver. "Garry did a good job racing in Pennsylvania the last two years," Stanton said. "He ran in Knoxville Raceway's weekly program and in Australia before that. "We've built the engines he's used in Australia. He won a race in a Mopar-powered car in Australia last month. Garry and his father, Steve, who I'm hiring as my new crew chief, were planning to race a Mopar car later this year anyway." Gray said he has known Saldana since he started racing and has been friends with his father, 1970 Amoco Knoxville Nationals champion, Joe, for years. He added that he expected Saldana and crew chief Jack Hickman to have his #51 Stealth ready for the World of Outlaws' Spring Nationals at Devil's Bowl Speedway March 21-22. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Joey Saldana