NASCAR veteran Sacks to drive No. 88 for JRM at DIS

1985 Firecracker 400 winner to debut Grand Touring Vodka partnership with JR Motorsports

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 18, 2010) – On the silver anniversary weekend of his monumental NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in the 1985 Pepsi Firecracker 400, veteran Greg Sacks will return to the driver’s seat in a JR Motorsports entry in the July 2 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway, kicking off a brand new partnership between JR Motorsports and Grand Touring Vodka.

Sacks will drive the No. 88 Grand Touring Vodka Chevrolet in the Subway Jalapeño 250, joining a JR Motorsports stable that will include Steve Arpin in the No. 7 Chevrolet and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a special tribute No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet for the Daytona event.

“I just couldn't pass on an opportunity to race at Daytona in top equipment on the 25th anniversary of my Pepsi Firecracker 400 victory,” Sacks said. “On top of that, being the only driver in this event that actually raced with Dale in the Wrangler No. 3 and now being teammates with Dale Jr. in that car is just awesome.”

Grand Touring Vodka’s debut at Daytona begins a two-year sponsorship with JR Motorsports that will feature primary branding on the No. 88 Chevrolet for 25 Nationwide Series events, 10 of which will come in 2010. Grand Touring Vodka’s races this season following Daytona will include O’Reilly Raceway Park (July 24), Watkins Glen (Aug. 7), Michigan (Aug. 14), Richmond (Sept. 10), Kansas (Oct. 2), California (Oct. 9), Texas (Nov. 6), Phoenix (Nov. 13), and Homestead-Miami (Nov. 20).  Driver plans for the No. 88 in those races have not been determined.

“Over the past four years, we have assembled a team of industry experts seeking to develop the world's best tasting vodka and deliver it at a sensible price," said Sacks, a founding member of the company. “Those years of research and development yielded one of the finest vodkas in the world with unmatched smoothness and exquisite balance. It was only natural to marry our instant classic vodka with the family responsible for many of NASCAR's classic moments - the Earnhardt family.”

A native of Mattituck, N.Y., Sacks has 263 starts in the Sprint Cup Series and 32 in the Nationwide Series. Prior to that, he found much success in the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series, accumulating 17 victories at Stafford Motor Speedway from 1980-83 and securing the 1982 track championship.

He made his Sprint Cup debut in 1983 but was still considered a rookie in 1984, a year in which he finished 19th in points and second to Rusty Wallace for Rookie-of-the-Year. It was the 1985 Pepsi Firecracker 400, however, in which Sacks made NASCAR history, taking a research-and-development car from DiGard Motorsports, qualifying ninth, and mounting a monumental upset over Bill Elliott and Darrell Waltrip that is talked about still today. 

Elliott led 103 of 160 laps, but Sacks benefited from a fast race car and savvy pit strategy to lead 33 laps and claim the victory.

“I was there,” said Earnhardt Jr. “It was the summer, so I was out of school. Shoot, I had to have been 10 or 11 years old. We watched the race from turn 1, and I remember it like it was yesterday. It was really cool to see Greg win that day.”

Sacks has two career pole awards in the Sprint Cup Series, one in the 1990 Pepsi 400 in a Hendrick Motorsports-prepared Chevrolet. Altogether, Sacks has one win, three top-fives and 20 top-10s in the Sprint Cup Series. In the Nationwide Series, he has one win (Talladega on July 27, 1996 driving for Gary Bechtel), three top-fives, five top-10s, and two poles (Charlotte on May 27, 1989 and Darlington on Sept. 1, 1990).

Sacks will participate in the NASCAR Nationwide Series test today and Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway. He will be available in the media center Wednesday during the lunch hour.

Release courtesy of JR Motorsports 

Photo: Greg Sacks answers a question Tuesday during a NASCAR Nationwide Series New Car test at Daytona International Speedway.(Motorsports Images and Archives from NASCAR Media)
NASCAR veteran Sacks to drive No. 88 for JRM at DIS NASCAR veteran Sacks to drive No. 88 for JRM at DIS Reviewed by Admin on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 Rating: 5