New owner enters NASCAR, will race
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)
NASCAR's newest team owner bought into its premier series with every intention of building a competitive team.
Brandon Davis vowed Tuesday he won't collect quick paychecks - send driver David Stremme on the track to ''start and park'' - to build his foundation.
Davis, CEO of independent oil and gas company Swan Energy, announced Tuesday he acquired Inception Racing in late August. His first race as owner was at Richmond, where Stremme pulled off the track after 127 of the 400 laps.
''I literally almost got sick,'' Davis said Tuesday. ''I couldn't stand watching it, I am a competitive person and I am not going to the racetrack to not try to win races. I respect start-and-park programs and I understand why teams do it because it is a matter of survival and the teams are trying to build something. It's just not the way I am going to build my team."
Stremme drove the No. 30 Toyota last season for Inception, but was a ''start-and-park'' for 20 of 28 races.
Davis wants him to go out and race next season for the rebranded Swan Racing, which will still be the No. 30 Toyota and use engines from Triad.
''I have spent a lot of time with Brandon this year and I can tell you he is here to win,'' Stremme said. ''I have never been so excited for a new season as I am for 2013. I'm ready to get started now.''
Davis has hired veteran Steve Hmiel as director of competition, and said he'll have a new crew chief in place by the end of the week. He's also expanded the team roster from seven employees to 13 and said more hires will be made before the season begins in February.
''Since coming on I've been learning as much as I can. What's needed, what we have, what are the weaknesses and what are the strengths,'' Davis said. ''The weaknesses are we need more people and more money. Steve Hmiel will take care of the personnel and I'll take care of the money.''
Swan Energy will be the primary sponsor, but Davis said he's in discussions with associate sponsors.