Earnhardt, Jr. and Said to Race Chevrolet Corvette C5-R
NASCAR star and veteran sports car racer to drive third Corvette at Infineon Raceway
DETROIT – The General Motors Chevrolet Corvette Racing team today announced the addition of drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Boris Said for Round Four of the American Le Mans Series at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on July 18th. The #8 Corvette C5-R will run as a third car in the event to further the team’s overall strategy to capture a fourth straight ALMS championship in 2004.
“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, marketing manager for GM Racing. “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 motorsports is why Chevy is the most successful manufacturer in racing.”
The three-car squad for the race in Sonoma will reunite Dale Earnhardt, Jr. with the Corvette Racing 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 sports car race. Boris Said is a renowned sports car racer and has found considerable success as an expert on NASCAR’s road circuits; Said won the pole position for GM at the NASCAR Winston Cup event at Sonoma in 2003.
“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.”
Earnhardt, Jr. spent the late part of January preparing for his eventual Daytona 500 victory by way of racing for Chevrolet in the 24 Hours of Daytona along with fellow NASCAR star Tony Stewart and road racing veteran Andy Wallace. The trio led the majority of the rain-soaked event before encountering a suspension failure in the closing minutes of the race. Earnhardt, Jr. is fast becoming a successful multi-dimensional racing driver.
“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 crossover 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.”
The Corvette Racing team will begin their 2004 season with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 20. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Boris Said will join the Corvette Racing team for the ALMS race on July 18 at Infineon Raceway.