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Nemechek to Drive No. 25 Chevy in 2003

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Nov. 13, 2002)—Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, today announced the signings of driver Joe Nemechek and crew chief Peter Sospenzo, who will each return to their respective roles with No. 25 UAW-Delphi team in 2003.

“I like the positive direction of the UAW-Delphi team,” Hendrick said. “Over the last few months, I’ve seen improvement in our practices, qualifying efforts, pit stops, race performances—you name it. We’re excited about the group we’ve assembled and the progress they’re making.”

Nemechek was named driver of the No. 25 Chevrolet on May 15 and struggled through much of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season until Sospenzo stepped in as crew chief on Sept. 10. Since that time, the former NASCAR Busch Series champion has earned two top-five finishes and started in the top-15 four times.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” said Nemechek, who has two career Winston Cup victories. “We’re headed in the right direction with great leadership, an amazing sponsor and awesome talent on the crew. Everything is in place for success next season.”

Coinciding with Sospenzo’s arrival was the decision to move Ed Guzzo, the team’s shop foreman, to car chief of the No. 25 Chevy. Guzzo, who won three Winston Cup championships as Jeff Gordon’s car chief in the 1990s, will remain in that role with Team 25 next season.

“The dynamic has changed,” Hendrick said. “The level of communication has improved with every race and the chemistry is probably better than it’s ever been in that shop. Led by Joe, Peter and Ed, the team has worked extremely hard to make things happen and their improvement shows that the effort is starting to pay off.

“I believe this team is going to be very competitive and turn a lot of heads in 2003.”

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