SONOMA, California — The Richard Childress Racing Development supported Golden Gate Racing Team is heading into one it's biggest weekends annually on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Tour with a double trouble approach. The San Francisco based team will bring two competitive entries into the Pick N Pull Racing to Stop Hunger 200 this Saturday at Sonoma.
"I have a great deal of respect for Steve Portenga and I'm looking forward to working with him and everyone at the Golden Gate Racing Team this weekend."— Eric Norris
Veteran driver Eric Norris of Dana Point, California will join GGRT primary driver Michael Self on the 1.99 mile road course that winds its way through the hills of the scenic wine country in one of the most prestigious events on the series schedule. This event runs in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, one of just two California events that draws NASCAR fans from all over the country to the Golden State.
"I am really excited to be running with the Golden Gate Racing Team," said Norris," who's best finish at Sonoma was a top five several years ago. Back then Norris was on the track with Steve Portenga, who is now the competition director and crew chief for the Golden Gate Racing Team owned by Jim and Patti Offenbach. "I have a great deal of respect for Steve Portenga and I'm looking forward to working with him and everyone at the Golden Gate Racing Team this weekend."
Norris has been racing since 1982. He was first introduced to the sport by his father, the internationally acclaimed actor and martial arts legend Chuck Norris. The father-son duo teamed up to compete in the highly popular SCORE/HDRA Off Road Racing Series throughout the early and mid 1980's. While his father continued to race trucks and boats while following his movie career, Eric focused on his studies at Arizona State University while working as a stuntman in feature films and television programs as his schedule allowed.
In 1993, Eric resumed his passion for racing as he successfully has competed in the NASCAR Craftsmand Truck Series, the Formula Ford 2000 Series and the Sportsman's Series at Willow Springs Raceway in California. In 1998 he fielded his own NASCAR West team with the support of his father and finished the year 14th in the standings despite missing two of the 16 races on the tour. He returned to the tour in 1999 where he was a frequent top runner. In 2000 he posted his first NASCAR victory at the Spears Manufacturing 250 in Bakersfield. In 2001 he finished 5th in the series standings and one year later captured the NASCAR West championship with two wins and 8 top five finishes.
This weekend, Norris will be behind the wheel of the Patti Offenbach owned GGRT/RCR #31 Chevrolet that will carry the sponsorship of Kick Start Kids. The Kick Start Kids Foundation is a charity founded by Chuck Norris in 1992 when he wanted to provide an effective martial arts program that would teach kids all of the valiant traits the martial arts has to offer. Additional sponsorship for Norris will include that of RDS Incorpated and owner Ed Horovitz, a longtime friend and supporter of Eric's career.
In addition to the lead sponsors that will field Norris, the Golden Gate Racing Team's longtime sponsors continue to support their program as they head into their home region this weekend at Sonoma. Among the supporters are Richard Childress Racing Driver Development, Pat O'Keefe's Bay Bio Diesel, the Golden Gate Meat Company, Rockwell Watches,Richard Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, RCR Street Performance, Hill Meat Company, Corte Madera Tow, Harraka Racing Equipment Sales, Foodcomm International, Signco, Praxair and JW Web Design.
"This is a very busy weekend for the Golden Gate Racing Team as we prepare this race where we get to spend time with Richard Childress and many guests being its so close to home for us, it's keeping us on the go," said Offenbach. "We are really looking forward to this race as I am confident that both Eric and Michael will be running up front in Sonoma."
For an in-depth look at the Golden Gate Racing Team or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, visit their official website at www.goldengateracingteam.com. For more information on Eric Norris visit his personaln website at www.norrisracing.com.