Colorado Springs., Colo. -- After five years of campaigning on the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series trail, Mike and Sharon Bonicelli announced today that they are closing the doors on the current race shop and putting all of their Southwest Series racing equipment up for sale. (All inquires are welcome)
"Living here in Colorado, we only had two local races on the schedule, so just our transportation expenses alone were quite a bit with most of the events in California", said Bonicelli. "We tried really hard to find a major sponsor, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Sharon and I really hate to go this route because racing has been a major part of our lives over the past thirty years. We've had some really fun times, met some wonderful people, and had our share of successes. But, I'm sorry to say, it's just gotten too expensive. This series needs more television time, which in turn, would bring more sponsors and participants".
During their years on "the tour", the Bonicelli's two most notable drivers were M. K. Kanke, of Frazier Park, CA., and Burney Lamar, of W. Sacramento, CA. In 1998 the Bonicelli-Kanke duo finished second in the Southwest Series point standings as they led the Series with the most wins, led the most laps, won two Busch Pole Awards and finished in the top ten on eleven occasions. Running only a limited schedule in 1999, they never-the-less won one race, finished in the top ten in half of their six races, and won one Busch Pole Award, making MK the Series all-time Pole Award winner. In 2000, the team had ten top ten finishes and wound up fourth in the Series final point standings.
In 2001, it became the Bonicelli-Lamar duo. The twenty-one year old rookie was winless, but the team finished ninth in the Series point standings and won the "Rookie of the Year" title.
As for the future, the Bonicelli's are taking a hard look at the Craftsman Truck Series, with sponsorship, but only time will tell.