Bahari Racing

Bahari Racing was a NASCAR Winston Cup and Busch team that operated from 1981 to 2001.The Busch team ran from 1989-1996 with Ronnie Sliver and Michael Waltrip driving, and one race with Johnny Benson at Homestead. The team's history of drivers include Geoff Bodine, Michael Waltrip, Johnny Benson, Kenny Wallace, Jeff Fuller, Rick Mast, and Mike Bliss, among others. The team mainly ran Pontiac Grand Prixs, although they did run other manufacturers as well. The team was also known as Bahre Racing and Bahari Racing prior to its purchase by Jack Birmingham in 1999, who renamed the team Eel River Racing. It was under that name that the team ceased operating in 2001.

Eel River Racing
Owner(s)Dick Bahre / Chuck Rider (Bahari)
Jack Birmingham (Eel River)
SeriesWinston Cup Series
Busch Series
Race driversGeoff Bodine, Michael Waltrip, Johnny Benson, Jr., Kenny Wallace, Jeff Fuller, Rick Mast, Mike Bliss
ManufacturerPontiac
Opened1981 (Bahari)
1999 (Eel River)
Closed1999 (Bahari)
2001 (Eel River)
Career
Debut1981 Daytona 500 (Daytona) (Bahari)
1999 NAPA Autocare 500 (Martinsville)
Latest race1999 Checker Auto Parts 500 (Phoenix) (Bahari)
2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 (Richmond) (Eel River)
Races competedBahari:
426 (Cup)
81 (Busch)
Eel River: 58 (Eel River)
Drivers' Championships0
Race victories0
Pole positions5 (Bahari)

Team historyEdit

The team originally started as the Bahre Racing No. 23 Pontiac owned by Dick Bahre in 1981. The team ran part-time until 1986. Chuck Rider entered the fold in 1987. The team at that point was renamed Bahari Racing, using the first two letters of each of the three principal owners' surnames (Dick BAhre, Lowrance HArry, & Chuck RIder). Waltrip, who ran a few races in late 1985 for the team, ran for Rookie of the Year in 1986 in a car sponsored by Hawaiian Punch.

1987 saw the team switch numbers from 23 to 30 and manufacturers from Pontiac to Chevrolet. Hawaiian Punch left the team, resulting in a revolving door of sponsors before All Pro Auto Parts came on for the rest of the season.

1988 saw the team switch back to Pontiac and acquire sponsorship from Country Time Lemonade. Waltrip then proceeded to miss the field for the 1988 Daytona 500. The team bought the Mueller Brothers' No. 89 entry and ran that car in the race to a 22nd-place finish. The June race at Pocono saw Waltrip bring the No. 30 home in 2nd place, in addition to two other top-10 finishes that season.[1] 1989 saw an additional five top-10s for the team, while 1990 (which saw Maxwell House join the team as a co-sponsor to Country Time) saw Waltrip pick up five top 5s and five more top-10s in addition.[2] However, at the end of the season, both Country Time and Maxwell House left the No. 30 for full-time sponsorships on other cars (the No. 68 for Tri-Star Motorsports and the new No. 22 for Junior Johnson Motorsports, respectively).

1991 saw Pennzoil brought in as the new sponsor for the team, and Waltrip responded with his best season to that point. The No. 30 won poles at Dover and Michigan in June, the team's first two poles. Waltrip also earned four top-5s and 12 top-10s for the team on his way to a 15th-place finish in points.[3]

1992 began with Waltrip as one of three cars that had a chance to win the Daytona 500, but a blown engine in the last 10 laps relegated him to a disappointing 18th. The rest of the year was disappointing as well, dropping to 23rd in points and recording a 4th at Rockingham as his best finish of the year.[4]

1994 and 1995 were, based on the points standings, Michael Waltrip's two best seasons in the Cup series. Waltrip drove the No. 30 to 12th in points (best among the Pontiacs) both years with nearly identical results. However, after the season, Waltrip left the team to drive the No. 21 for the Wood Brothers.

For 1996, the team hired Johnny Benson, the 1995 Busch Series Champion to take over the No. 30. Benson won the pole for the Purolator 500 at Atlanta in March, but struggled early on, even failing to qualify for the Food City 500 at Bristol. Later on in the season, Benson's performances improved. Benson had the lead late at Richmond in September before fading to 10th.[5] Benson ended the year 21st in points with a best finish of 5th at Pocono in July, in addition to winning the Rookie of the Year award.

1997 was the team's best season in the Winston Cup Series. Benson finished 11th in points, just 1 point behind 10th place Ken Schrader. During the season, Benson won the pole at Michigan and had 8 top-10 finishes. However, Benson left the team to drive the new No. 26 for Roush Racing at the end of the season and Pennzoil left to sponsor the new No. 1 for Dale Earnhardt Inc..

For 1998, Derrike Cope was brought in to replace Benson behind the wheel. Gumout, a division of Pennzoil, provided the sponsorship for the team. However, the season was a big letdown. The team failed to score a top 10 finish for the first time since 1986 and failed to qualify for four races. Cope also missed Martinsville due to injury and was replaced briefly by Jeff Green. The high point for the team was the pole Cope won at Charlotte in October. The best finish for the No. 30 was an 11th at Talladega.[6] In addition, the team fell all the way from 11th in 1997 to 40th in the owners' points standings.[7] Gumout left the team at the end of the season.

1999 saw the team acquire sponsorship from the Sara Lee Corporation. Primary sponsorship would be split between four divisions- Jimmy Dean Sausages, Bryan Meats, State Fair Corn Dogs, and Rudy's Farm. Each division had its own paint scheme.

The season was a complete disaster. Cope failed to qualify for half of the first 22 races before the team was sold to Jack Birmingham and renamed Eel River Racing. He renamed it to Eel River Racing because of his native Massachusetts roots where the Eel River is in Plymouth, where Birmingham is from. Birmingham fired Cope and replaced him with Todd Bodine. Mike Bliss also ran two races in the No. 30 before the end of the season.

In 2000, the car number was changed from No. 30 to No. 27, and after Birmingham's purchase of the team, the team's best finish was a ninth-place run at Talladega on October 15, 2000 with Bliss.[8] The team's only full season was in 2000, when Fuller and Bliss raced for the team. That year the team had 10 DNFs, and would struggle to reach the top-40 in points. After a long season, the team would end up 38th in driver's points.

After running the previous two seasons with sponsorship from Pfizer and its Viagra brand, Eel River Racing began the 2001 season with Kenny Wallace driving a largely unsponsored car. After running with one-off sponsorships for most of the early season races, the team eventually was able to secure sponsorship from C.F. Sauer, who joined the team for the Coca-Cola 600. The No. 27 was painted yellow and carried the logo of Sauer's Duke's Mayonnaise division.

The team failed to qualify for a race again until the Pennsylvania 500, at which point Wallace had departed and been replaced by Rick Mast. After missing the Brickyard 400, Mast qualified for the next five races after that, ending with the Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400. Mast attempted to qualify for the remaining races in September, through the inaugural Winston Cup race at Kansas, but did not qualify there or at Dover (New Hampshire was postponed to November due to the September 11 attacks in New York). Sauer's left and prepared to spend 2002 with Mast at Donlavey Racing, leaving Birmingham with no sponsor, no driver, and no choice but to suspend operations. The team officially closed their doors on October 2, 2001,[9] 2 days after the race at Kansas.

Team ResultsEdit

Car No. 27 resultsEdit

Year Driver No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Owners Pts
1981 Geoff Bodine 23 Pontiac RSD DAY
22
RCH CAR ATL BRI NWS DAR
30
MAR TAL NSV DOV CLT TWS RSD MCH DAY NSV POC TAL MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT CAR ATL RSD 49th 210
Charlie Glotzbach Buick CLT
26
CAR ATL RSD
1982 Geoff Bodine DAY
42
RCH BRI ATL CAR DAR NWS MAR TAL
29
NSV DOV CLT POC RSD MCH DAY NSV POC TAL MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV NWS CLT MAR CAR ATL RSD 79th 37
1983 Elliott Forbes-Robinson DAY
40
RCH CAR ATL DAR NWS MAR TAL NSV DOV BRI CLT RSD POC MCH DAY NSV POC TAL MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT CAR ATL RSD 81st 43
1984 Sterling Marlin DAY RCH CAR
35
44th 874
Don Hume ATL
26
BRI NWS
Morgan Shepherd DAR
26
MAR TAL NSV DOV
36
CLT
17
RSD POC MCH DAY
40
NSV
Gene Coyle POC
18
TAL MCH BRI DOV
21
MAR
Connie Saylor DAR
31
RCH CLT
34
NWS CAR ATL RSD
1985 Morgan Shepherd Chevy DAY RCH CAR
38
ATL BRI DAR 52nd 308
Dick May Buick NWS
25
MAR TAL DOV
Michael Waltrip Pontiac CLT
28
RSD POC MCH
18
BRI DAR
24
RCH DOV MAR NWS CLT
31
CAR ATL
39
RSD
Jim Hull Chevy MCH
32
Eldon Dotson DAY
38
POC TAL
1986 Michael Waltrip Pontiac DAY
DNQ
RCH
25
CAR
21
ATL
19
DAR
13
NWS
26
MAR
11
TAL
35
DOV
12
CLT
26
RSD
25
POC
39
MCH
22
DAY
18
POC
11
TAL
14
GLN
17
MCH
32
BRI
13
DAR
16
RCH
14
DOV
16
MAR
14
NWS
23
CLT
19
CAR
13
ATL
20
RSD
31
19th 2853
Buick BRI
32
1987 30 Chevy DAY
22
CAR
17
RCH
12
ATL
39
DAR
19
NWS
24
MAR
10
TAL
25
CLT
11
DOV
21
POC
16
RSD
32
MCH
39
DAY
19
POC
37
TAL
17
GLN
16
MCH
20
BRI
14
DAR
19
RCH
19
DOV
18
MAR
18
NWS
16
CLT
35
CAR
19
RSD
26
ATL
38
20th 2840
Pontiac BRI
13
1988 DAY
DNQ
RCH
31
ATL
12
DAR
21
BRI
12
NWS
32
MAR
22
TAL
33
CLT
23
DOV
36
RSD
11
POC
2
MCH
28
DAY
21
POC
17
TAL
20
GLN
33
MCH
7
BRI
31
DAR
25
RCH
12
DOV
12
MAR
25
CLT
23
NWS
25
CAR
19
PHO
28
ATL
7
18th 2949
Chevy CAR
13
1989 Pontiac DAY
21
CAR
12
ATL
20
RCH
13
DAR
9
BRI
11
NWS
29
MAR
25
TAL
21
CLT
27
DOV
22
SON
10
POC
14
MCH
16
DAY
34
POC
28
TAL
36
GLN
10
MCH
31
BRI
32
DAR
13
RCH
23
DOV
6
MAR
12
CLT
17
NWS
23
CAR
17
PHO
9
ATL
26
18th 3057
1990 DAY
8
RCH
27
CAR
28
ATL
38
DAR
9
BRI
20
NWS
27
MAR
8
TAL
5
CLT
4
DOV
26
SON
9
POC
19
MCH
21
DAY
16
POC
23
TAL
21
GLN
4
MCH
30
BRI
9
DAR
26
RCH
14
DOV
5
MAR
30
NWS
15
CLT
3
CAR
15
PHO
43
ATL
14
16th 3251
1991 DAY
38
RCH
17
CAR
7
ATL
5
DAR
3*
BRI
23
NWS
7
MAR
7
TAL
5
CLT
15
DOV
32
SON
10
POC
18
MCH
34
DAY
6
POC
38
TAL
7
GLN
21
MCH
9
BRI
25
DAR
27
RCH
30
DOV
5
MAR
25
NWS
27
CLT
7
CAR
19
PHO
24
ATL
40
15th 3254
1992 DAY
18
CAR
4
RCH
34
ATL
28
DAR
14
BRI
17
NWS
29
MAR
27
TAL
38
CLT
25
DOV
15
SON
20
POC
15
MCH
27
DAY
27
POC
26
TAL
7
GLN
35
MCH
22
BRI
14
DAR
35
RCH
33
DOV
17
MAR
29
NWS
16
CLT
23
CAR
20
PHO
11
ATL
14
23rd 2825
1993 DAY
16
CAR
26
RCH
23
ATL
14
DAR
33
BRI
14
NWS
20
MAR
16
TAL
10
SON
23
CLT
13
DOV
27
POC
21
MCH
37
DAY
22
NHA
23
POC
14
TAL
20
GLN
12
MCH
16
BRI
10
DAR
13
RCH
19
DOV
23
MAR
8
NWS
14
CLT
27
CAR
18
PHO
9
ATL
6
17th 3291
1994 DAY
31
CAR
10
RCH
31
ATL
23
DAR
15
BRI
5
NWS
11
MAR
17
TAL
3
SON
16
CLT
10
DOV
7
POC
11
MCH
8
DAY
13
NHA
37
POC
14
TAL
11
IND
8
GLN
20
MCH
14
BRI
7
DAR
31
RCH
26
DOV
33
MAR
19
NWS
21
CLT
10
CAR
26
PHO
36
ATL
10
12th 3512
1995 DAY
6
CAR
17
RCH
23
ATL
35
DAR
7
BRI
22
NWS
22
MAR
15
TAL
12
SON
10
CLT
3
DOV
8
POC
9
MCH
12
DAY
15
NHA
14
POC
21
TAL
9
IND
14
GLN
14
MCH
11
BRI
15
DAR
5
RCH
28
DOV
29
MAR
25
NWS
12
CLT
17
CAR
38
PHO
34
ATL
12
12th 3601
1996 Johnny Benson DAY
23
CAR
20
RCH
37
ATL
38
DAR
24
BRI
DNQ
NWS
24
MAR
25
TAL
10
SON
18
CLT
38
DOV
17
POC
25
MCH
37
DAY
25
NHA
9
POC
5
TAL
18
IND
8*
GLN
15
MCH
7
BRI
28
DAR
11
RCH
10
DOV
24
MAR
17
NWS
17
CLT
14
CAR
40
PHO
32
ATL
27
21st 3004
1997 DAY
28
CAR
27
RCH
9
ATL
11
DAR
10
TEX
28
BRI
31
MAR
17
SON
21
TAL
9
CLT
15
DOV
21
POC
27
MCH
10
CAL
13
DAY
16
NHA
18
POC
13
IND
7
GLN
11
MCH
24
BRI
18
DAR
19
RCH
13
NHA
19
DOV
28
MAR
19
CLT
10
TAL
19
CAR
36
PHO
7
ATL
10
11th 3575
1998 Derrike Cope DAY
37
CAR
15
LVS
31
ATL
38
DAR
40
BRI
26
TEX
DNQ
TAL
22
CAL
39
CLT
33
DOV
35
RCH
34
MCH
DNQ
POC
26
SON
38
NHA
16
POC
23
IND
DNQ
GLN
39
MCH
43
BRI
36
NHA
DNQ
DAR
27
RCH
24
DOV
35
MAR
30
CLT
14
TAL
11
DAY
38
PHO
33
CAR
25
ATL
30
37th 2065
Jeff Green MAR
17
1999 Derrike Cope DAY
18
CAR
DNQ
LVS
34
ATL
41
DAR
DNQ
TEX
22
BRI
DNQ
MAR
34
TAL
DNQ
CAL
42
RCH
42
CLT
DNQ
DOV
36
MCH
32
POC
DNQ
SON
37
DAY
DNQ
NHA
DNQ
POC
DNQ
IND
32
GLN
DNQ
MCH
DNQ
44th 1678
Todd Bodine BRI
15
DAR
DNQ
RCH
19
NHA
39
DOV
DNQ
CLT
36
PHO
25
HOM
27
ATL
43
Mike Bliss MAR
32
CAR
42
Buckshot Jones TAL
27
2000 Jeff Fuller 27 DAY
DNQ
CAR
42
LVS
36
ATL
22
DAR
36
BRI
37
TEX
38
36th 2048
Mike Bliss MAR
35
TAL
24
CAL
35
RCH
41
CLT
32
DOV
35
MCH
37
POC
33
SON
22
DAY
28
NHA
32
POC
24
IND
31
GLN
39
MCH
28
BRI
DNQ
DAR
28
RCH
DNQ
NHA
19
DOV
43
MAR
28
CLT
43
TAL
9
CAR
21
PHO
38
HOM
40
ATL
DNQ
2001 Kenny Wallace DAY
25
CAR
42
LVS
31
ATL
29
DAR
31
BRI
38
TEX
25
MAR
37
TAL
DNQ
CAL
37
RCH
40
CLT
40
DOV
27
MCH
DNQ
POC
DNQ
SON
DNQ
42nd 1782
Mike Bliss DAY
DNQ
CHI
DNQ
NHA
DNQ
Rick Mast POC
35
IND
DNQ
GLN
27
MCH
39
BRI
41
DAR
30
RCH
34
DOV
DNQ
KAN
DNQ
CLT MAR TAL PHO CAR HOM ATL NHA

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit