LJ Racing

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LJ Racing
Owner(s) Joe Falk, Ron Neal
Series Winston Cup Series
Car numbers 91
Race drivers Mike Wallace, Kevin Lepage, Todd Bodine, Dick Trickle, Morgan Shepherd
Sponsors Spam
Manufacturer Chevrolet
Opened 1997
Closed 2000
Races competed 53

LJ Racing was a stock car racing team that competed in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series between 1997 and 2000. Owned by Joe Falk, the team posted a best finish of fifth with driver Todd Bodine, and a best Winston West Series finish of second with Mike Wallace driving. LJ Racing has since been revived as Circle Sport Racing.

Winston Cup Series[edit]

Car No. 91 history[edit]

The LJ Racing car at Pocono Raceway in 1997

Virginia businessman Joe Falk entered NASCAR team ownership in the Winston Cup Series (now the Sprint Cup Series) in 1997, fielding the No. 91 Chevrolet in a partnership with Ron Neal under the LJ Racing banner, with driver Mike Wallace and sponsorship from Spam. Neal had been running the team as the No. 81 in the Busch Series as ProTech Motorsports.[1] Wallace had posted the team's best finish in any series, in the only Winston West Series race they ever entered, the 1997 Auto Club 200 at California Speedway. Having failed to qualify for the weekend's Winston Cup Series event, they posted a late entry to the West Series race, and Mike Wallace drove from the back of the field to finish second.[2] However the team struggled to make races,[3] and Wallace was released midway through the season;[4] Spam left the team shortly thereafter, and several other drivers drove the car later in the year, with little additional success. Kevin Lepage joined the team towards the end of the year, and would drive the No. 91 through the first half of 1998 before leaving to join Roush Racing.[5] He was replaced by Morgan Shepherd, and then Todd Bodine, who would score the team's best finish in the Cup Series, fifth, in the final race of the 1998 season at Atlanta Motor Speedway.[6]

LJ Racing entered the 1999 season with driver Steve Grissom;[7] Grissom was released after failing to qualify for two of the first four races,[8] being replaced by Dick Trickle, who drove for the team for most of the remainder of the year.[9] The team would qualify for two races in 2000, at Atlanta and Richmond with Todd Bodine driving, before closing down.[10]


Driver[11] Races Wins Poles
Todd Bodine 9 0 0
Steve Grissom 2 0 0
Andy Hillenburg 4 0 0
Tommy Kendall 4 0 0
Kevin Lepage 16 0 0
Greg Sacks 1 0 0
Morgan Shepherd 6 0 0
Dick Trickle 7 0 0
Mike Wallace 7 0 0

Busch Series[edit]

ProTech Motorsports was founded by Ron Neal and began competition in the NASCAR Busch Series during the 1996 season, with driver Todd Bodine. Running the No. 81 for most of the season, Bodine finished third in series points, scoring one win at South Boston Speedway.[12] In the final race of the year at Metro-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex he ran the No. 82 as Jeff Neal, Ron Neal's son, ran the team's regular No. 81. The team was in financial trouble throughout the season, however, and was partially bought out by Joe Falk to run Winston Cup in 1997;[13] the team ran the first four races of the 1997 NASCAR Busch Series season with Stanton Barrett before switching fully to Winston Cup.


Driver[14] Races Wins Poles
Todd Bodine 26 1 0
Stanton Barrett 4 0 0
Jeff Neal 1 0 0


  1. ^ Kallmann, Dave (February 13, 1997). "New NASCAR teams reach ultimate crossroad". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee, WI. p. 4C. Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  2. ^ Hodges, Jim (June 22, 1997). "It's No Way to Break In a New Track". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, CA. 
  3. ^ "Trying to make sirloin out of Spam: Joe Falk determined to succeed in Winston Cup racing". Roanoke Times. Roanoke, Virginia. May 25, 1997. pp. B2. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  4. ^ Pearce, Al (June 26, 1997). "Shifting gears not easy for new owner". Daily Press. Newport News, Virginia. p. B1. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  5. ^ Zeller, Bob (June 27, 1998). "Lepage to leave Falk for Roush". Virginian-Pilot. Norfolk, Virginia. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  6. ^ "Bodine happy with 5th place". Charlotte Observer. Charlotte, North Carolina. November 9, 1998. p. 4B. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  7. ^ Shacklette, Buddy (February 6, 1999). "Grissom happy at LJ Racing". Daytona Beach News-Journal. Daytona Beach, Florida. p. 09B. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  8. ^ "Steve Grissom, Joe Falk Part Company". Motorsport.com. March 15, 1999. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  9. ^ "Trickle takes over for fired Grissom". Washington Times. Washington, D.C. March 19, 1999. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  10. ^ Cavin, Curt (August 3, 2000). "NASCAR squeezes out small teams". Indianapolis Star. Indianapolis, Indiana. p. I5. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  11. ^ "Joe Falk Owner Statistics". Racing-Reference. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  12. ^ "Todd Bodine - 1996 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  13. ^ "Skinner grabs pole". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Spartanburg, SC. September 8, 1996. p. D9. Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  14. ^ "Ron Neal Owner Statistics". Racing-Reference. 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-27.