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Healed Carlos Contreras Returns To XFINITY Competition In Time For Bristol Debut

BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 16, 2015) - - Fully recovered from ligaments injuries sustained in a qualifying crash in the NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February, Carlos Contreras returns to action this weekend in time to make his Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway debut in Saturday afternoon’s Drive To Stop Diabetes 300.

“I’m glad to be back in the XFINITY Series this weekend at Bristol,” said Contreras who injured his right foot during a multi-car accident in knockout qualifying at Daytona. “The healing process went well and I’ve been anxious to get back behind the wheel. Luckily, everything aligned to allow me to make my Bristol debut for Rick Ware Racing.”

It’s hard to believe that through 101 combined starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series, Contreras has never tackled Bristol’s “Thunder Valley.” This weekend though, Contreras will make his dream a reality with the support of / / Pepe Billete Show on SiriusXM Radio and Global Aircraft Solutions.

“Our sponsors have been supportive and patience during the recovery process,” said Contreras. “They are glad we’re back in the saddle this weekend at one of the circuit’s toughest places.”

And despite his inexperience at the 0.533-mile oval, Contreras is hopeful that prior races at Dover (Del.) International Speedway will pay some dividends, even though it’s been 13 years since he’s been at that 1.0-mile oval.

“I know it’s hard to compare Bristol Motor Speedway to another track, because the track is its own animal, but I’m hoping that my experience at Dover will help, even a little,” offered Contreras. “Thankfully, the weather seems to have improved for this weekend and we can focus on getting our No. 15 / / Pepe Billete Show on SiriusXM Radio Chevrolet Camaro dialed in.

“Things happen in a hurry on a short track, Bristol in particular. If I’m comfortable with the car, we can change our focus to qualifying. While we won’t have to worry about missing the race, it’s extremely important to get a starting spot. That could be the difference of staying on the lead lap or even becoming involved in an early race altercation. It’s important to have a good day on Saturday and build back some consistency for Rick and the team.” Following Bristol, the Mexico, City, Mexico driver is slated to compete in the next two NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway respectively.

“It’s nice to be back in the saddle and have a routine of racing the next three weeks,” Contreras sounded. “Hopefully, we can have some good runs in our Rick Ware Racing car and set things in motion to run more races this year. I’ve run well at Richmond over the years and of course, Talladega is unpredictable, so we have some synergy heading into the next couple of weeks.”

Team principal Rick Ware says he’s happy that Contreras is healthy and set for his XFINITY return in the seventh race of the season.

“We’re glad that Carlos was able to have a speedy recovery and is ready for his return this weekend at Bristol,” Ware said. “Carlos bring a great attitude to the team and is always encouraging and open to trying new things – all in the best interest of bettering our race team. While, it’s Bristol, we’re hopeful that we can have a respectable weekend and Carlos can deliver a respectable finish in our No. 15 / Chevrolet Camaro.”

The Drive To Stop Diabetes 300 (159.9 miles / 300 laps) is the seventh of 34 events on the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule. The first practice session of the weekend begins on Friday, April 17 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:25 p.m. Round two is set for later in the afternoon from 3:00 p.m. – 4:25 p.m. Qualifying will be held race day, Saturday, April 18 scheduled to lift off at 9:45 a.m. The 40-car starting field will take the green flag shortly after 1:30 p.m. with an anticipated green flag sixteen minutes later. Live coverage of the first of two races at Bristol Motor Speedway this season is set for FOX Sport 1, the Performance Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90. All times are local.

Rick Ware Racing is on Twitter. Follow them @RickWareRacing.

Photo Caption: Carlos Contreras, driver of the No. 15 / / Pepe Billete Show on SiriusXM Radio / Global Aircraft Solutions for Rick Ware Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NSX).

Media Contact:

Lisa Ware, Rick Ware Racing