CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 18, 2002) -- Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) has formed a strategic alliance with BH Motorsports (formerly Mansion Motorsports) in an effort to assist the company in establishing a competitive African-American-owned NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, HMS general manager Jeff Turner announced today. “Not only is this a step in the right direction for Hendrick Motorsports and BH Motorsports, it’s a great move forward for the sport of stock car racing,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “We’re committed to bringing more diversity to the NASCAR community and there’s no better place to start than Winston Cup.” BH Motorsports is led by CEO Tinsley Hughes and COO Sam Belnavis, who have a combined 35 years of motor sports experience. Belnavis guided Miller Brewing Company’s initial NASCAR initiative as director of sports promotions when legendary driver Bobby Allison piloted the Miller High Life Winston Cup entry in 1982. Hughes has co-owned the No. 85 Winston Cup team with Thee Dixon since 1989, fielding drivers such as Mike Skinner, Ken Bouchard and Carl Long, though limited resources hampered on-track performance. “We’re extremely excited about this strategic alliance with Hendrick Motorsports,” said Belnavis. “Our hope is that this project will encourage others to join us in promoting diversity in motor sports, whether it be through BH Motorsports, Hendrick Motorsports or other avenues.” As part of the agreement, HMS will provide BH Motorsports with assistance in all phases of its racing operation, including sponsorship acquisition, car and race-setup development, personnel recruitment and training, and corporate networking, in preparation for fielding a full-time Chevrolet team in 2003. “I’ve known Sam and Tinsley for years and their dedication to becoming a successful racing team is without question,” said Hendrick. “I believe that we can have a positive effect on their efforts and, in turn, on the sport itself.” BH Motorsports will initially operate out of its current headquarters in Durham, N.C., until construction on a new facility in Charlotte, N.C., is completed later this year.