BACE Motorsports
Owner(s) Name Bill Baumgardner
Racing Series Winston Cup, Busch Series
Number of Championships 3 - Busch Series
Number of Wins 16
Car Number(s) 33, 74
Notable Driver(s) Johnny Benson, Randy LaJoie
Notable Sponsor(s) Lipton Tea, Fina
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Shop Location Charlotte, North Carolina
Year Opened 1993
Year Closed 2005

BACE Motorsports is a former championship-winning NASCAR team. It was owned by entrepenuer Bill Baumgardner, who also founded Staff America. Baumgardner was inspired to start his own team after Staff America was a sponsor in the Busch Series for two years. The team was famous during its tenure for always running its familiar #74.


BACE made its debut in 1993 at the season opening race at Daytona International Speedway. Jack Sprague was the driver, and he finished 44th after the engine expired. After that less-than-stellar debut, Sprague and BACE made a good turn around, and they soon became a consistent top-20 contendor, and had three top-10 finishes. After the fall race at Dover International Speedway, BACE and Sprague parted ways, and Winston Cup star Ernie Irvan occupied the car for one race, but another driver took the reins as well, a young short-track driver named Johnny Benson.

Championship YearsEdit

Benson's rookie year with BACE started off slow, as he originally didn't finish higher than 16th. After a long string of finishes 22nd or worse, Benson put together two consecutive top-5 finishes at The Milwaukee Mile and South Boston Speedway, then had three more top-ten finishes before winning his first race at Dover. At the end of the year, Benson was named the NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year and was sixth in points. Benson's momentum carried over into the following year. Along with Lipton Tea coming onboard as sponsor, Benson won twice early in the season, and finished outside of the top-ten only nine times. The consistency was enough for him to clinch that year's championship. When Benson signed on with Bahari' Racing for 1996, wily veteran Randy LaJoie was tabbed his replacement along with a new sponsor in Fina. LaJoie had no problem adjusting, and won five times as well as a second straight championship for BACE, then repeated the performance the in 1997. 1997 also the appearance of a second BACE car, the #33 Kleenex team driven by Tim Fedewa. In two seasons, Fedewa won twice and finished 7th in points in 1998. After a seemingly disappointing 1998 season that saw just one victory and a fourth place finish in points, LaJoie bolted for Phoenix Racing, while Fedewa signed with Cicci-Welliver Racing, as well as the departure of Kleenex to Progressive Motorsports.

Later yearsEdit

BACE had an entirely different look in 1999. Alka-Seltzer and Bayer sponsored the 33 car driven by Jason Jarrett, while the rookie Tony Raines drove the unsponsored #74. The results were mixed. Raines showed consistency and came out of left field to win Rookie of the Year, while Jarrett was released after the race at California Speedway, and was replaced by a series of rotating drivers including Mike Wallace, Hermie Sadler, and Benson returning to the team briefly. For 2000, Raines slid over to the #33, while rookie P.J. Jones signed to drive the 74 car. Raines finished second at South Boston, and finished 15th in points, while the 74 team disappeared briefly due to operating expenses, before Chad Little became the driver towards the end of the year. This combo stayed the same in 2001, and both drivers finished in the top ten in points (Raines-6th, Little-9th). Unfortunately the #74 car was sent packing once again because of financial problems in early 2002. After Raines finished 12th in points in that year, BACE finally made a full-time leap to Winston Cup for 2003. Raines got a sixth place finish at North Carolina Speedway, but was left in the dust for the Rookie of the Year running. BACE returned to the Busch Series for 2004, but this time, Raines was not their original driver until later in the year, when he replaced Damon Lusk. BACE was forced to cut back to a part-time schedule because of their decreasing finances, and put Jimmy Spencer in the car with a few races to go in the season. In 2005, BACE announced they would temporarily suspend operations but return as soon as sponsorship was found. As of November 2005, none has been found and it is believed that all team members have resigned for better opportunities, leaving BACE Motorsports a mere memory in NASCAR.

External linksEdit

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