Craven Takes Provisional at Richmond – Ricky Craven was forced to take a provisional starting spot (38th) for the Saturday night race at Richmond International Raceway. With an early qualifying draw, fourth, Craven went out in bright sunshine on a green track. Adding to the challenges for Craven was the fact that the team had to run sticker tires on the right side.

Unlike other racetracks, the fast qualifying setup at Richmond is on scuffed tires. Unfortunately during the final practice run to scuff tires, Craven indicated there was a vibration on the right side so the team was forced to run the sticker tires instead of scuffs. The final car bumped the Tide Pontiac from the top 36. Based on points, the 15 was assigned the first provisional, 37th, and Craven will start in the second provisional spot of 38th.

The race is Saturday night under the lights and will be telecast live on FX

Pontiac Racing Welcomes PPI Motorsports for 2003
DETROIT, Mich., Aug. 17, 2002 — Pontiac Racing has added the Cal Wells owned PPI Motorsports team to its 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup team lineup. PPI currently fields the No. 32 Tide entry driven by Ricky Craven.

“We are very excited to have Cal Wells and the Tide racing team join Pontiac as we look forward to the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup series,” said Lynn Myers, Pontiac-GMC General Manager. “Their energy and excitement about the new Grand Prix race car has been tremendous.”

The addition of Wells’ Hickory, North Carolina-based operation to the Pontiac Grand Prix camp is the first since the addition of A.J. Foyt Racing [#14 Pontiac] and Eel River Racing [#27 Pontiac] to the Winston Cup Series in 2000.

“When we first discussed the possibility of the Tide team coming to Pontiac, it was very clear that Cal was serious about doing whatever it takes to win a championship,” said Robert Kraut, marketing director for Grand Prix. “That type of attitude is exactly what we need as we put the new Grand Prix race car on the track next year.”

As a Winston Cup car owner, Wells directed his team to victory lane in just 58 starts, claiming the checkers at Martinsville Speedway on October 15, 2001 with Craven at the wheel. In 86 Winston Cup races, Wells’ organization has posted seven top-five and thirteen top-ten finishes.

“Certainly a lot of thought went into the decision to switch to Pontiac for 2003,” said Wells. “I really wrestled with this opportunity and ultimately determined that Pontiac was going to provide the best opportunity for the Tide 32 team to compete among the best in Winston Cup. I’m very excited for Ricky (Craven), this PPI Motorsports team and Tide as we look to our future together.”

Craven, who is an eight year-veteran of the Winston Cup circuit, has flourished since joining forces with Wells’ organization. In addition to his Martinsville victory, Craven has captured three pole positions, seven top-fives, twelve top-tens and more than $3.6 million in earnings in less than two seasons at PPI Motorsports.