|AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES MEDIA
DALE EARNHARDT JR TO DRIVE CORVETTE IN AMERICAN LE MANS
BRASELTON, GA. - Dale Earnhardt, Jr., winner of the 2004 Daytona 500 and one of the biggest stars in NASCAR racing, will bring his skills to a different form of the sport when he drives a Corvette in the July 18 American Le Mans Series event at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
A two-time winner already in the young NASCAR Nextel Cup season in the Budweiser Chevrolet, including the most recent event at Atlanta, Earnhardt will make a rare foray outside of stock car racing when he joins the General Motors Chevrolet Corvette racing team in the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma. He will co-drive with veteran road racer Boris Said in a third Chevrolet Corvette C5-R fielded by Corvette Racing, the car carrying Earnhardt's famous #8.
The three-car team for the event will reunite Earnhardt with the Corvette team, a bond that began at the 2001 running of the 24 Hours of Daytona where Earnhardt, Jr., and his father, the late Dale Earnhardt, finished fourth overall in their first-ever sports car race.
"I am really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the Corvette C5-R because it is such a great race car," said Earnhardt, Jr. "I'm happy that Chevy has given me the chance to cross over and take part in its sports car program, which has been a huge success. Boris Said has a lot of experience at Infineon Raceway, and I'm getting better there, so it should be a fun weekend."
"It will be great to have Dale Jr. back into the Chevrolet Corvette C5-R and Boris will be an excellent partner for him," said Gary Claudio, GM Racing Marketing Manager. "The relationship we have with Dale Jr. highlights the depth and breadth of Chevrolet's racing program. This commitment to compete across the entire spectrum of major league motorsport is why Chevy is the most successful manufacturer in racing."
"We greatly appreciate this demonstration of the commitment that GM and Corvette Racing have to the American Le Mans Series and we thank Dale Jr. for his enthusiasm," said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. "Having one of the most popular drivers in the world as part of our event at Infineon Raceway is a spectacular opportunity and we look forward to it. Dale Jr., like his father, is known to have always had an attraction to state-of-the-art, world-class sports car racing - in particular Le Mans. We look forward to his debut with the American Le Mans Series and are confident this is only the start of his participation in the ALMS."
The Corvette Racing team has been the GTS class champion in the American Le Mans Series the past three seasons, with Chevrolet also taking the Manufacturer's Championship in each season. Corvette drivers Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell teamed to capture the 2003 ALMS GTS class driving title, the second consecutive for Fellows. Fellows and O'Connell, drivers of the #3 Corvette, will be gunning for their fourth consecutive ALMS win at Infineon Raceway in the July 18 event, while Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta will share the #4 Corvette in search of victory at Sonoma.
The Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma will get the green flag at 11:30 a.m. (PDT) on Sunday, July 18, and will be televised live in North America by CBS Sports and in Europe on MotorsTV. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online atwww.americanlemans.com.
Ticket information is available online atwww.infineonraceway.com and www.americanlemans.com or by calling (800)870-RACE.