Sam Belnavis, Travis Carter form new team

STATESVILLE, N.C. (January 13, 2003) -- Sam Belnavis and Travis Carter announced today the formation of BelCar Racing. The minority-owned organization will field the No. 54 Army National Guard Ford Taurus driven by Todd Bodine for the entire 2003 ...

Sam Belnavis, Travis Carter form new team

STATESVILLE, N.C. (January 13, 2003) -- Sam Belnavis and Travis Carter announced today the formation of BelCar Racing. The minority-owned organization will field the No. 54 Army National Guard Ford Taurus driven by Todd Bodine for the entire 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.

Belnavis, the majority shareholder, intends on making a long-term impact with BelCar Racing by being the first minority-owned team in NASCAR's 55-year history to run a full schedule in the series top division. "Our involvement in racing is focused on enhancing the diversity effort in NASCAR as well as increasing the recruitment efforts and retention rates of our primary advertiser, the Army National Guard," said Belnavis, chairman of BelCar Racing. "The Army National Guard, along with our driver, Todd Bodine and the resources that Travis Carter brings with him, are helping us lay the groundwork for a successful future in Winston Cup racing."

Having been around motorsports for more than 20 years as an executive with the Miller Brewing Company, Belnavis has been involved in several significant industry sponsorships. The Charlotte, N.C., resident brought Miller into the world of racing signing NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Bobby Allison to run the No. 22 Miller High Life Oldsmobile. "I'm committed," added Belnavis. "My background in sports marketing and motorsports has given me an understanding of what it takes to be a championship caliber organization. It takes a lot of hard work, the proper resources and dedication. That's what BelCar Racing is all about."

Carter, who will oversee race operations, also boasts an impressive NASCAR resume. Carter's 32-year career includes winning the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship in his rookie year as crew chief for Benny Parsons. After working as crew chief for drivers Bobby Allison, Harry Gant, Rick Mast, Cale Yarborough and Benny Parsons, he joined the owner ranks in 1989 and has amassed six pole positions and more than $18 million in career earnings. "Sam and I have a lot in common as we are both eager for success," remarked Carter.

"With our combined resources, I know we'll achieve the goals set for BelCar Racing in 2003."

In preparations for the upcoming season, the No. 54 Army National Guard team will conduct test sessions at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and North Carolina Speedway. The track time has Bodine excited to get back to work.

"I couldn't have asked for a better opportunity," said Bodine. "I have driven for Travis for the last two years and know he has the equipment already in place to be competitive. Sam brings a new and valuable perspective to this team and I am looking forward to driving for BelCar Racing. The timing of this announcement is perfect. It gives us every opportunity to test and prepare for this season which will get us in better position to win."

BelCar Racing will operate out of the Travis Carter Enterprises complex located here.

-bc-

shares
comments
GM Racing Daytona - Doug Duchardt interview

Previous article

GM Racing Daytona - Doug Duchardt interview

Next article

BDR Daytona test preview

BDR Daytona test preview
Load comments
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020