After a tremendously successful 35-plus-year driving career that netted 50 NHRA national event wins and 11 divisional championships, Alcohol Funny Car icon Bob Newberry has decided its time to turn in his driving gloves.
Considered among Sportsman racing's elite, Newberry is part of an ever-dwindling fraternity of competitors who still works on the car, tunes the engine and drives, which ultimately led to his decision to make a change. Nick Bastiao, owner of Stealth Motorsports, has purchased Newberry's turnkey race team operation and will not only retain Newberry as his crew chief and mentor, but also re-signed Valvoline to a multi-year agreement.
“I have been extremely fortunate throughout my career to have a strong network of supporters,” said Newberry. “From a number of tremendous sponsors such as Valvoline, to countless friends and family, their help has allowed me race at a high level whether in Competition Eliminator or Alcohol Funny Car.
Having a competitive team has been a great calling card, but it's been a challenge to focus on my business while trying to race at the same event. - Bob Newberry
“But, with Nick purchasing my entire racing operation, I believe this is a great time for me to step aside and help a strong up and coming guy who has the same competitive will as I did when I was younger. I'll still be able to attend races - I'll just have a different view from the starting line.
“Valvoline has been involved not only as a sponsor but as a technical partner of Bob Newberry Racing,” said John Stotz, Director of Brand Marketing for Valvoline. “It's great to continue those roles with Stealth Motorsports and support Bob as a crew chief”.
One of the few competitors able to make a business out of sportsman racing, Newberry founded Bob Newberry Racing (BNR) in 1983 when he first entered into the alcohol ranks. Throughout his career, he developed a strong customer base in the alcohol categories with an extensive line of racing components. Today's announcement will allow him to devote more time to that business.
“Having a competitive team has been a great calling card, but it's been a challenge to focus on my business while trying to race at the same event,” said Newberry. “I will now be able to be hands on with Nick's team, but have more time to help my customers at the track”.
“It's exciting to help Nick put together his team, especially with Valvoline staying involved at a high level as well as having some of the other sponsors that have been with me throughout my career. It's the perfect way for me to stay involved with a team, take care of my business, while still getting to enjoy seeing the fans at the races. As far as I'm concerned, there's no better way to retire from the seat.
“We'll have more announcements forthcoming about the team, but for right now I'm just planning on enjoying the view from outside the car.”