Bang! Racing

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BANG Racing
Owner(s) Alex Meshkin, Larry McReynolds
Base Mooresville, North Carolina
Series Craftsman Truck Series
Car numbers 24, 28, 42, 82
Race drivers Travis Kvapil, Mike Skinner
Sponsors Line-X, Toyota
Manufacturer Toyota
Opened 2003
Closed 2005
Career
Drivers' Championships 0
Race victories 2

Bang! Racing is a former NASCAR team. It was owned by entrepreneur Alex Meshkin, as well as crew chief and analyst Larry McReynolds and fielded entries in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. It only ran one season, in 2004.

History[edit]

Travis Kvapil's No. 24 truck after winning the team's first race

The team was founded in 2003 by Alex Meshkin, an internet entrepreneur. Initially planning to race in the then-Winston Cup Series by purchasing Andy Petree Racing,[1][2] the team signed a three-year contract with manufacturer Toyota to run in the Craftsman Truck Series as part of Toyota's entry into NASCAR. Meskin also recruited Larry McReynolds as a part-owner and vice president[1][2][3] The team leased operating space from veteran driver Jimmy Spencer.[2][4] The team was named after one of Meshkin's companies, Bang Technology Software.[3][5]

The team made its debut at Daytona International Speedway in February 2004. Its two drivers were Travis Kvapil in the No. 24 Line-X Truck and Mike Skinner in the No. 42 Toyota Truck. It marked the first time in series history two former champions raced for the same operation.[6][7] Kvapil finished second in the race, while Skinner finished 28th due to a crash.[8] Bang! also announced plans to run several late-season Cup Series races, with sponsorship from eBay.[6][8][9] From then on, Bang! lived up to its namesake, with Kvapil racking up two victories, including the first NASCAR win for a Toyota at Michigan, and an eighth-place finish in points.[2] Skinner, despite not winning a race, had two poles during his tenure with the team. Meshkin meanwhile was credited for his salesmanship abilities, as he recruited sponsors such as Line-X and eBay.[2][8][10] Later in the year Meshkin announced he would field the No. 82 Dodge in the Busch Series in 2005, with Kvapil at the wheel.[2] He also began negotiations for a potential NEXTEL Cup Series team (the No. 28 Dodge) with driver Ward Burton and NetZero sponsoring; both were with Haas CNC Racing at the time. The Cup Series deal ultimately fell through.[11]

However, trouble soon began brewing within the organization. Despite the team's success, McReynolds left the team in July due to funding and financial disagreements with Meshkin, including unpaid bills to suppliers.[2][10] In August, Toyota ended its factory support of the team due to the departure of McReynolds, with the No. 42 team shutting down and driver Mike Skinner moving to Bill Davis Racing.[2][10] Toyota later maintained its agreement until the end of the season.[2][10] But after the season, several key executives at Bang resigned, and in January 2005, Bang let all of its help go and closed down its shop.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Toyota confirms Truck Series teams.". crash.net. November 15, 2003. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ashenfelter, Mark (May 16, 2005). "Broken dreams". Scene Daily. Archived from the original on 2012-02-04. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Brinster, Dick (June 12, 2004). "Young millionaire trying to win racing championships". The St. Augustine Record, Associated Press. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Jenkins, Chris (September 11, 2004). "Spencer growing impatient with race shop buyer". USA Today. Richmond, Virginia. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  5. ^ Chemris, Thomas (March 29, 2004). "Bang Racing showing championship form". motorsport.com. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  6. ^ a b James, Brant (February 11, 2004). "Aid urged for family in speedway death". St. Petersburg Times. Daytona Beach, Florida. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  7. ^ Rose, Shannon (February 8, 2004). "Kvapil Out To Defend His Title: Travis Kvapil Will Drive A Toyota Tundra For Alex Meshkin, His Third Racing Team In As Many Seasons.". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c "Bang Racing embarks on its first season". motorsport.com. February 29, 2004. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "NASCAR series gets Ebay sponsorship". San Francisco Business Times. February 24, 2004. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c d Hyman, Mark; Burke, Jordan; France, Mike; Cady, John (February 7, 2005). "A Wild Ride At NASCAR: How a whiz kid talked his way into owning a race team -- and then hit a wall". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "Bang Racing goes Nutzz". crash.net. 2004. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 

External links[edit]