Beam Back At PPI

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HICKORY, NC - PPI Motorsports today announced it has hired former Tide Racing crew chief Mike Beam as competition director for its racing programs. Beam is joined by David Charpentier, who will serve as crew chief for the No. 32 Tide Chevrolet driven by Ricky Craven. Scott Miller, crew chief for the No.32 Tide Pontiac in 2003, is exploring options both within and outside of the team's engineering group.

Beam, a veteran NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief, returns to PPI Motorsports after serving as crew chief for Richard Childress Racing's No.30 Chevrolet in 2003. As competition director, Beam will help focus the organization's in-house operations toward increased performance. He will also work with Charpentier and the crew of the No.32 Tide Chevrolet to ensure the team's at-track competition needs are met.

"Bringing Mike back on board is just what our company needs," said Cal Wells, president of PPI Motorsports. "We experienced a bit of a learning curve with the switch to Pontiac and our own engine program, and we're at the point now where we can really push our efforts to the next level. With his ability, experience, and familiarity with how we operate, Mike is an ideal choice to help us do that."

"I'm thrilled to be back at PPI Motorsports," Beam said of his decision to return. "It's like coming home in a lot of ways. I'm really excited to be in a position where I can help set direction not only for the race team, but also for the whole company. PPI Motorsports is a quality operation, and I'm happy to be working with everyone here again."

Beam's Winston Cup career began in 1981 as a mechanic and crew chief for Petty Enterprises. Since then, it has evolved to include crew chief and team management roles with several highly regarded teams. Beam served as crew chief for PPI Motorsports' No.32 Tide Racing program from 2001-2001 and helped lead the team to its first NASCAR Winston Cup Series win (Martinsville, October 2001), three pole positions, and seven top-five finishes.

Charpentier, former engineering manager for Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI), joins PPI Motorsports in the first full-time crew chief role of his career. Charpentier entered the professional motorsports ranks after seven years in the Navy's nuclear power program and consulted for several teams, including Sabco Racing, Rudd Performance Motorsports, Butch Mock Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports. In 1999, Charpentier joined DEI and was instrumental in the team's growth from one to three successful Winston Cup teams.

"I've had a list of goals since I started racing, and being a Cup crew chief has always been one of them," Charpentier said. "PPI Motorsports is an engineering-oriented team with a very technical approach to racing. This is the first opportunity I've had to align myself, in a crew chief role, with an organization that has the same approach to racing that I do. With PPI Motorsports, I'm looking forward to achieving this goal, as well as the last on my list - winning races as a crew chief."

"Bringing Dave on board as crew chief makes perfect sense for the Tide team," said Wells. "His experience and work ethic complement our organization well. We believe he'll be a tremendous asset as we work toward heightened performance goals in 2004 and beyond."

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