Inotes:/I PPI Switches To Pontiac

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Pontiac had begun rebuilding its roster by announcing the PPI Motorsports team will use Grand Prixs starting in 2003. Cal Wells’ team and driver Ricky Craven moves from Ford.

“Certainly a lot of thought went into the decision to switch to Pontiac for 2003,” Wells. “I really wrestled with this opportunity and ultimately determined that Pontiac was going to provide the best opportunity for the Tide 32 team to compete among the best in Winston Cup. I’m very excited for Ricky, this PPI Motorsports team and Tide as we look to our future together.”

Pontiac is introducing a new model Grand Prix next season, with most of the development done by Joe Gibbs Racing. But Gibbs’ two-car team of Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart is moving to Chevrolet for 2003.

That left three teams to use Pontiacs, the MBV/MB2 duo of Johnny Benson and Ken Schrader and A.J. Foyt Racing. With Wells and perhaps Morgan-McClure Motorsports, Pontiac could be back to five teams.

Craven is 15th in the Winston Cup points standings, with three top-five and five top-10 finishes. He also has two poles this year, won at Rockingham and Darlington earlier in the year.

Craven got the first Winston Cup victory for himself and PPI last year at Martinsville Speedway.

“We are very excited to have Cal Wells and the Tide racing team join Pontiac as we look forward to the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series,” said Lynn Myers, Pontiac-GMC General Manager. “Their energy and excitement about the new Grand Prix race car has been tremendous.”

Night Race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway?
The October race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway will move to Saturday night, The Charlotte Observer reported in Saturday’s editions. The 2003 UAW-GM 500 will be run under the lights on Oct. 11.

The Busch Series race will also be run at night, the paper reported, the day before the Winston Cup race.

That means that all three of LMS' Winston Cup events - The Winston and the Coca-Cola 600 in May and the UAW-GM 500 in October will all finish under the lights.

An announcement is expected on Wednesday that will state that The Winston, NASCAR's annual All-Star race, will remain in Charlotte for 2003.

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