British funding for Travis Carter squad

The first-ever British-funded NASCAR Nextel Cup team will field a car in next year's championship, following a deal between ASCAR Days of Thunder squad Torquespeed and veteran entrant Travis Carter

British funding for Travis Carter squad

The team will be known as Torquespeed Carter, and will operate from the existing Travis Carter Enterprises complex in Statesville, North Carolina. Carter's 32-year career includes winning the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup with Benny Parsons. He co-owns BelCar Racing and has run a Ford Taurus for Todd Bodine this season.

"I am very excited by the UK team's business and marketing plans," remarked Carter. "Their understanding and knowledge of our sport demonstrates they know what it takes to be successful. We have a lot in common. We are committed to achieving success both on the track and for the marketing partners that will participate in this unique programme."

Torquespeed spokesperson Paul Musselle said: "Having successfully established the UK operation, the shareholders wanted to move to the greatest stock car racing arena on the planet, and that's NASCAR. We looked long and hard to identify a partner with the expertise, commitment and vision to make this work over the long term and Travis is, without doubt, the right man."

The team hopes to establish a ladder of success for talented European drivers, who will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their ability in NASCAR. John Mickel, the 2001 Days of Thunder Champion, will be the first to drive for the team.

"I'm excited by the opportunity," said Mickel. "NASCAR has always been my goal and to have the chance to test myself in this environment is going to be quite a challenge. With people like Travis around me, I know I'm going to get some clear feedback on what I do well and where I need to improve."

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