DENVER, N.C. — When Tony Blanchard announced he needed a driver for the ARCA Racing Series opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway Feb. 15, there was no shortage of candidates.
After careful deliberation, Blanchard will team with veteran North Carolina racer Tom Buzze in a one-race agreement with Buzze and marketing partner Lane Southern Orchards.
“Tom is the perfect driver for what we are trying to do,” said Blanchard. “I want someone with experience on big tracks and someone I can communicate with about the car. Tom provides everything we need to do well in Daytona.”
Blanchard will campaign the No. 3 entry in the ARCA Racing Series with Midwest teenage racer Karl Weber behind the wheel for most of the remainder of the season. Weber is too young to compete on the superspeedways. A partnership with Buzze allows Blanchard to earn valuable points at Daytona while creating the opportunity to develop set-up notes for when the Ambia, Ind., pilot is able to compete at the bigger tracks.
“This is a great opportunity to work with a veteran crew chief at the biggest ARCA event of the season,” said Buzze. “I am thrilled that Lane Southern Orchards came on board to support our effort. We have high expectations for the Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona.”
Blanchard has postponed the RACE 101 program to focus on the performance of the race team.
“We have built a solid brand with RACE 101,” said Blanchard. “Our graduates are fine young racers, and we are proud of their accomplishments. I feel it is now time to return to the race track and find success. We will focus 100 percent on the ARCA team, and we will use everything that we teach in the program to make it a success both on the track and for our marketing partners as well.”