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NASCAR BGN Advance Auto Parts 250 -- #96, Stevie Reeves

10 July 1997

 #96 Stevie Reeves, Big A Auto Parts Ford Thunderbird 
 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division
 Advance Auto Parts 250 Advance
 South Boston Speedway 

MYRTLE BEACH, SC - Myrtle Beach Speedway is one of the smallest tracks 
hosting a NASCAR Busch Grand National Series event, but the .538-mile oval 
can be one of the trickiest speedways on the circuit. That's where Stevie 
Reeves and the Big A Auto Parts Ford team will be this week for Saturday's 
Carolina Pride 250

Enjoying a somewhat storied history, the speedway's qualifying record is held 
by Jeff Gordon and the race record held by a Pearson - Larry, in this case. 
One of the prime vacation spots of the Carolinas, many Busch teams head to 
the speedway a day or two early.

A maximum of 34 cars will start Saturday's race, making the event one of the 
tougher ones to make the field. A strong qualifying lap will be necessary at 
a track where the record is 98.595 miles per hour and thousandths of second 
will separate the top 10 from failing to make the field.

Solidly in the top 20 of the NASCAR Busch Grand National standings, Reeves is 
in his first full season of the series. He has run a partial schedule the 
past three years, 15 or more races in each. A racer virtually his entire 
life, Reeves grew up literally in the shadow of Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 
one block away from the first turn until moving to three blocks away from the 
fourth turn. A two-time USAC national champion, Reeves joined the Big A Auto 
Parts Ford team at the beginning of the 1996 season. The team is owned by 
auto racing luminaries John Andretti, Cary Agajanian, Mike Curb and Don Laird.

The thoughts of Big A Auto Parts Ford driver Stevie Reeves heading into 
Myrtle Beach:

"A lap at Myrtle Beach is pretty much controlled chaos. Something on the car 
is going to do something weird at some point. You're just going to spend all 
of your time trying to set the car up to where you know what the weird thing 
is going to be. If the back end is going to come around on you - and it 
usually does at the tracks like Myrtle Beach - as long as you know that and 
have a pretty good idea of how much it's going to come around, then you're 
usually fine.

"Where you run into trouble is when you look out the passenger side window, 
see something and think, 'What is that?' and then realize it's the rear end 
of your car. That can be a really unsettling feeling.

"Brakes and steering wheel. Steering wheel and brakes. The only reason you 
have the rest of the car, I guess, is so everybody has something to hit 
during the race. You have to take care of your brakes, and that's hard to do 
because you're on them so much. And you have to work that steering wheel. 
Outside of qualifying, there is no such thing as a smooth lap around Myrtle 
Beach. You're going into the corners hard, and working to be able to get back 
on the gas out of them. You have to be under control before you can get back 
on the gas, though, and you're doing everything you can to get to that point 
as quickly as possible.

"In the meantime, you're dodging the cars in front of you and busy shaking 
your fist at the guy behind you. Somebody told me once they'd rather run a 
short track without a roof on the car than without a middle finger. Well, I 
don't think it's quite that bad but there can be a lot of beating, a lot of 
banging and a lot of tempers flaring at Myrtle Beach. A lap at Myrtle Beach 
can be pretty busy, and 250 of them can be extremely busy.

"Most of the guys in Busch racing come from a short track background. I 
learned with the Midget and Sprint cars. A lot of the others learned on the 
weekly stock car tracks. In this series, a short track can be an equalizer a 
lot of times since there is so much short track experience in the drivers' 
seats. Still, patience and brains come into play too. It's hard enough to 
have one for 250 laps, much less both.

"I think this Big A Auto Parts Ford team can do okay this weekend. We're 
looking forward to a little time at the beach, and we're looking forward to 
another short track race. We're ready to get going."

By Williams Company of America, Inc.