According to RacingOne.com, neither the originally announced driver, Brian Conz, nor the announced backup driver Mike Bliss, will be piloting the Scottish Rite's #34 car in the Orbitz 300 on Saturday.
The noon race at Daytona International Speedway will find Steve Grissom driving the Scottish Rite car. It is unknown if Grissom is a Freemason.
Grissom, 43, of Gadsden, Alabama, had only two starts in the 2006 season, finishing 40th in one race due to mechanical difficulties, and 21st in last year's opener at Daytona.
With 306 starts since 1986, he has won 11 races, finished in the top five 42 times, and in the top ten 74 times. Career winnings amount to $2,499,309. His pre-season ranking this year is 98, with 148 points, 5500 points behind the leader.
He finished 45th out of 48th in time trials earlier this week, with a top speed of 180.6 mph, about 8.5 mph slower than the top speed of the leader, Ward Burton.
The Orbitz 300 is on a 2.5 mile oval track, consisting of 120 laps. It will be televised on ESPN, and on Sirius satellite radio.
Image: NASCAR driver Steve Grissom
Update Monday, Feb. 19: My thanks to the readers who sent updates and statistics of the Orbitz 300 Busch series NASCAR race with first Scottish Rite-sponsored car. Driven by Steve Grissom, the Scottish Rite car finished two laps down, in 25th place out of 43 cars that started in the Orbitz 300 this past Saturday. It was 25th out of 36 cars still running at the end of the race; the rest had dropped out due to damage, or mechanical failure.
The car never led a lap, and ran in last place among cars that didn't lose laps because of wreck damage, mechanical problems, or penalties. It accumulated a total of 88 points, which is 102 points off the lead.
I TIVO'd not only the race but the 1.25 hour long pre-race program on ESPN, but haven't had the fortitude to watch or even fast-forward through it. My interest is in whether any announcers said anything about the Masonic sponsorship, pro or con. Was it noteworthy at all, or did it simply go unmentioned? Can any of our readers who watched the pre-race show or the race itself tell us if they heard any special mention about the Masons or Scottish Rite?
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