PENDLETON, Indiana -- ASA National Tour veteran crew chief Dick Ater has joined forces with Indianapolis-based Downey Racing for the 2004 season. Ater will team up with Rookie of Year candidate Brent Downey in the upcoming 18-race schedule that begins at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Fla., on March 27.
"We are putting together a solid program for the 2004 season, attempting to put Brent in a position to win the rookie championship," said Ater. "We are going to have a lot of support from Jim Randerson at RanderCar which will be a huge benefit for the team. I have known Brent for the past three years. He has matured as a race car driver and I see a lot of potential. He is a smooth driver, doesn't seem to get rattled and listens well."
The past three seasons, Ater served as crew chief for Cozzolino Motorsports and driver Peter Cozzolino. The combination produced a pair of victories in 2003 and finished 10th in the final point standings.
"Cozzolino Motorsports was looking to hire a full-time crew chief and I couldn't make that commitment with my teaching position," said Ater. It was a mutual decision to part ways. I wish Peter and the entire team the best of luck in the future."
Downey, 21, began his career in the Quarter Midget ranks, notching numerous victories. He competed in Legends during the 1999 season, earning a National Championship and Anderson Speedway Track title. In 2000, Downey finished 10th in the Sunoco Super Series final point standings, his first season competing in high-powered Late Models. The following season he ranked eighth, and in 2002 finished 14th after recovering from an early season hand injury that forced him to miss some events.
Downey started six ASA events in 2003, producing a best finish of 13th. He also kept his driving skills sharp by making limited starts in the Sunoco Super Series. In 2004, Downey is setting his sights on capturing the $50,000 ASA Rookie of the Year title.
"I'm looking forward to working with Dick as he has a lot of knowledge with ASA cars," said Downey. "We are trying to rebuild Downey Racing by constructing a solid program for 2004 and beyond."
Downey Racing is currently accepting applications for crew members for the 2004 season. Applicants should live near Indianapolis. Interested applicants can contact Mark Downey by emailing him at email@example.com. For additional information, visit www.asaracing.com.