Chip Howell, Pioneer Racing, Commits to Full B-Spec Grand-Am Season Will Drive No. 55 Mini Cooper

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Chip Howell and Pioneer Racing announced today that they will participate in the full inaugural season of Grand Am B-Spec racing, driving at all six race weekends. Grand-Am is a road racing sanctioning body owned and managed by NASCAR.

Chip Howell and Pioneer Racing announced today that they will participate in the full inaugural season of Grand Am B-Spec racing, driving at all six race weekends. Grand-Am is a road racing sanctioning body owned and managed by NASCAR. B-Spec is a new racing car class that includes entries from Ford, Toyota, Honda, Mini, and Kia.

Howell will be driving a 2012 Mini Cooper upfitted for the series. “It was very exciting for us when Grand-Am released the B-Spec schedule during the Rolex 24 at Daytona weekend,” says Howell.

Howell says his team is being managed by Dave Price of Price Performance, Fort Mill, SC, and that his primary sponsor is QSR, a foodservice industry trade magazine.

According to Howell, plans for racing B-Spec have been in the works for months.

“We’ve been following the development of B-Spec since last summer, literally gathering every shred of news we could find,” said Howell. “Then, last October, when it looked like B-Spec was going to happen, we made the commitment to put together a team and move ahead with our plans. We knew this was going to be new for everyone, so we thought “Pioneer Racing” was an appropriate team name.”

The search for the right car for us was an interesting process, says Howell. “We considered every manufacturer, and given that the cars are meant to be equal, it really came down to where we felt we could get the most support.”

The team decided after a visit to PRI in early December to go with Mini USA, although at the time, Mini’s plans were still in the works. “As it turned out, Rick Hendrick Mini of Charleston became the point dealership for Mini USA’s race effort, and they were testing at VIR in December. We went there, met Brad Davis, the general manager of the dealership and who head up race efforts for them, and just found that it was a great fit for us.”

Pioneer Racing will be paddocking with Rick Hendrick Mini of Charleston at Grand Am events. “They have been outstanding to work with,” says Howell. “From locating a car for us, their knowledge of the parts and build-out requirements, and the offer to transport and paddock will be huge for us. When it comes to racing Minis, these guys are at the top of the food chain.”

According to Dave Price, head of Price Performance, B-Spec is a great fit for everyone involved. “It’s very exciting to be working on this, since it’s brand new. And Chip is a great kid to be working with. He learns fast, and we’re very happy to be working with him.” Price’s most recently managed multiple SCCA GTA stock car and Spec Miata efforts. “With B-Spec, we’re all going to be learning.”

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About Chip Howell: Chip Howell, age 21, is a full time student and junior at East Carolina University where he is majoring in hospitality management. Although only auto racing since his senior year of high school, he has had numerous podium finishes in NASA, SCCA, and Skip Barber events racing SSM and MX-5. An individual with many interests, Chip was captain of his high school sailing team, built and informally raced a hydroplane, and is an avid videographer. He attended the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the New York Film Academy, and he has worked professionally shooting short films. http://www.chiphowellracing.com

About QSR: QSR magazine is the thought-leader of the $260 billion limited service restaurant segment with a full range of media products to the trade. QSR promotes a “Healthy, Active Lifestyle” through it’s participation in activities such as motorsports. http://www.qsrmagazine.com

About Price Performance: Dave Price has spent nearly 40 years in the motorsports industry an is a highly regarded race prep shop, team manager, and driver. Some of his past successes include: AMA "Expert" ranked flat tracker, ARTGO "Rookie of the Year" runner up, ARRC GTA Champion and Grand AM Rolex GT crew chief.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Chip Howell
Pioneer Racing
101 Europa Drive, Suite 150
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
pioneerbspec(at)gmail(dot)com
(919) 418-4072

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Chip Howell
pioneerbspec@gmail.com
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