Hixson Motorsports Beckons for Buice at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway Roadcourse.....

Hixson Motorsports Beckons for Buice at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway Roadcourse.....
SODDY DAISY TN (2-13-10) - Charlotte, North Carolina's Jeff Buice will make his 2010 ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards debut when he slides into the Wayne Hixson owned #23 Shaver Motorsports Chevrolet Impala for the upcoming road course event at Palm Beach International Raceway on February 27th.

The Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace will be the sixth career start for Buice, and he is looking forward to the challenging road course in West Palm Beach. In fact, of his five career starts to date, two of them have been on the road course at New Jersey Motorsports Park, so Buice has proven to be very comfortable turning both right and left.

"I am very excited to be going to Palm Beach in the 23," Buice said.  "Last year at New Jersey, I qualified 10th for the race and we were running in the top 10 when clutch trouble bit us.  The year before, I qualified 15th and had a strong run going, but we had just pitted and went to the back when the rain came, and we didn't get the chance to try to regain any of our positions.  We have a strong car, and ARCA veteran Ron Cox will be on hand to call the shots as crew chief.  With Wayne Hixson and his guys to take care of me for the race, we should have a strong run.  I don't think a top ten or an even better finish would be out of the question, and we are definitely going to give it all we have."

Buice is no stranger road racing, having competed in multiple SCCA events over the past several years.  In fact, with his SCCA racing background and his preference for the road courses, Buice could be considered a "Ringer" when it comes to road racing.  His three oval starts in ARCA have come at Lanier Speedway in 2005, and Rockingham Speedway in 2008 and 2009.

In the world of stock cars, however, Buice is perhaps best known for his years as a successful crew chief, calling the shots from the pit box instead of the driver's seat.  Buice was a member of Alan Kulwicki's 1992 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship team, before serving as the Crew Chief at Melling Racing for driver Jerry Nadeau, and at Travis Carter Motorsports with driver Todd Bodine.  In the ARCA world, Buice served as crew chief for the late Dan Shaver at Shaver Motorsports.  Buice also oversaw the driver development program for Joe Gibbs Racing for several seasons, which was run in conjunction with Shaver Motorsports.  Several of today's NASCAR stars came through this program, with Buice preparing the cars, most notably Denny Hamlin, J. J. Yeley, Aric Almirola, and Justin Marks.  When he is not behind the wheel, Buice runs the day to day operations of Shaver Motorsports, which is located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In addition to the Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace, Buice will also compete in the V8 Stock Car Series events at Palm Beach Int'l Raceway, competing in the V8 SPO Class.

The relationship between Buice, Cox, and Hixson Motorsports dates back to the 2002 ARCA Racing Series season.  During the 2002 season, when Ron Cox was still driving full time for Hixson Motorsports, Dan Shaver approached the team about running engines from his shop.  Shaver Motorsports was starting an engine program to lease engines to other teams, and they wanted to show the racing community what their engines could do.  The under-funded Hixson Motorsports team seemed like just the place to showcase that power.  Cox made several very impressive runs with Shaver power under the hood, turning many heads throughout the garage, and a lasting friendship was formed.  Buice, who was Shaver's Crew Chief at the time, became Cox's "go to" man for setup and chassis information.  In 2008, when Buice entered the inaugural race at Rockingham Speedway, he called on Cox to Crew Chief the effort.  Since then, whenever Buice has entered an ARCA event, it has been with Cox on the pit box.buicecarshotnjmp09.jpg

Buice was instrumental in the creation of the Dan Shaver Memorial Scholarship which began in 2009.  The Dan Shaver Memorial Scholarship is a yearly $2500 scholarship for a deserving student in the Motorsports Program at Sequoyah High School in Soddy Daisy, Tennesee.  The Motorsports Program is an elective course at Sequoyah High School and is taught by Cox.  The students learn the basic fundamentals of preparing an ARCA Racing Series car for competition, from chassis and body fabrication, to setup.  Each year, Cox will select a deserving student, or students, to be awarded the scholarship.  Last fall, the Dan Shaver Memorial Scholarship was highlighted on Cox's car at ARCA's two dirt events, Springfield and DuQuoin.  The Scholarship will also be highlighted on Buice's car at Palm Beach.

Team owner Wayne Hixson is also excited about the upcoming race at Palm Beach.

"I am really looking forward to going road racing in a couple of weeks," Hixson said while working at the shop Thursday evening.  "Jeff (Buice) is real good on the road courses, and having him in the 23 this weekend will be a big plus.  We are confident that we will be fast and that Jeff will have a good, strong run.  I really like the road courses.  When we went to Watkins Glen back in 2002 or so, I actually practiced a car.  A road course is probably the only type of track I would consider dusting off my driving helmet for, but probably not in one of these cars."

Roy Shipley
Hixson Motorsports
Team Manager