Bill Davis is the owner of the Bill Davis Racing team that currently fields the #22 Caterpillar Inc. Toyota Camry and the #36 360/OTC Camry in the Nextel Cup Series and the Toyota cars driven by Mike Skinner, Tyle Walker and Johnny Benson, in the Craftsman Truck Series.
Bill Davis Racing (BDR) was formed by Bill Davis, a former motocross racer and also a truck-rental owner. Davis helped his business partner Julian Martin to develop his son Mark’s ASA racing program. When his partner signed with J.D. Stacy, Davis wanted to take a break from racing world but the couldn’t and in short time he hired Martin to drive his Busch Series car sponsored by Carolina Ford Dealers.
In 2001 the team switched to Dodge but when Davis decided to switch his trucks from Craftsman Truck Series to Toyota,Dodge stopped to backing the team. Despite this Davis continued to use the Dodge cars in the Nextel Cup and Busch Series until 2007 when he decided to switch over to Toyota.
In the Nextel Cup Series the team has currently 3 cars. The #22 car represents the first car in the Bill Davis team. In 1991 the car was driven by Jeff Gordon. Gordon was proposed at the team by the Ford Motor Company. The driver won the Nascar Busch Series Rookie of the Year that year and in the next year he took 11 pole postions. In 2003 Bill Davis wanted to move Gordon to the Winston Cup Series but his planed was ruined by Rick Hendrick, owner of the Hendrick Motorsport due to the fact that Gordon signed with Hendrick.Davis kept his plans and moved to Winston Cup Series with Bobby Labonte as driver. In 1994 Labonte signed with Joe Gibbs Racing. Then Davis hired rookie Randy LaJoie but at the middle of the year he was fired. He was replaced by a series of rotating drivers.
The team didn’t won until 2000 when they were winners at the Darlington Race. Then in 2002 they won the Daytona 500 event.Davis’ team had a stellar 2002 season with driver, Scott Wimmer, winning four of the final eight races of the season. In 2005 BDR announced that they will stop to collaborate with Wimmer at the end of the season. Wimmer was replaced by Dave Blaney for the 2006 season.He had only two top ten finishes and he was 26th in points.On July 29, 2007, he obtained his first top ten at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The #23 car made its debut in 2000 with Scott Wimmer as official driver, in the season finale Napa 500. It was the only race that season, but they returned after one year with Hut Stricklin as driver for the Dodge car sponsored by Hills Brothers.In 2002 Scott Wimmer returned at the wheel and the car was renumbered to #27 as an R&D team. In 2006 the car returned to the track as a team for Bill Davis Racing with Mike Skinner
as driver. He failed to qualify for the 2005 Daytona 500 race and was replaced by Bill Lester who became the first African-American to compete in a Cup race at the Golden Coral 500.Lester didn’t do too much for the team and in 2007 Mike Skinner attempted the Daytona 500 but he didn’t qualify.
The #36 car started its carrier in the Nascar championship as the #93 Amoco Pontiac driven by Dave Blaney.The team moved to Winston Cup in 2000 and had few victories in the 2001 season. Blaney left the team due to the fact that Amoco decided not to renew the contract with Bill Davis Racing and he was replaced by Hut Stricklin. Several drivers came to the team. Geoff Bodine, Scott Wimmer and Tom Huvert but they didn’t do too much.
In the 2004 and 2005 season the car had almost no sponsorship. In 2004 it was driven by Shane Hmiel, Tony Raines and David Blaney and in 2005 by Mike Skinner.In 2006 BDR made a partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing and the car became #55. Soon after this Jasper Motorsports was closed down due to its financial problems and was bought by Waltrip.
Jeremy Mayfield was hired as driver of the car that became again the #36 for the new sponsor 360 OTC. Mayfield didn’t do too much for the team and BDR announced that in the 2008 ex-f1 driver Jacques Villeneuve will be the new official driver.
In the Craftsman Truck Series the #5 truck made its debut in 2004 at Bang!Racing with Mike Skinner as official driver.When the team had almost no performances it was sold to Bill Davis Racing. The debut for Davis was in the Las Vegas 350 event. Skinner won two pole positions in that season and obtained 6th place in the Homestead-Miami Speedway event. Skinner had good results in 2005, when he obtained seven pole
position and won two races at Bristol and Richmond, but also in the 2006 season when he had thirteen top ten finishes. Due to his performancer for the team Skinner extended his contract until 2009.
The #22 truck made its debut in 2004 at the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 event with Bill Lester as official driver. Lester obtained 16th place and finished the season 22nd in points.Thing were good for Lester due to the fact that he finished 17th in the next season.In 2006 was dropped by the team due to the weak performances and in 2007 was switched with Tyler Walker who drove the renumbered #36 truck.Rookie Ryan Matthews replaced him after Walker was suspended for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. The team lost its sponsor and Matthews had to drive the renumbered #22 truck.
The #27 truck made its debut in 2005 for Bill Davis Racing with Steve Park as driver. He was replaced in 2006 by A. J. Allmendinger who drove the renumbered #24 truck for 3 races that season. Allmendinger’s best
performace was 5th place at Talladega Superspeedway event. In 2008 Bill Davis Racng will use Jacques Villeneuve, the ex-f1 driver who will drive the renumbered #27 truck as a tribute for his father Gilles Villeneuve who used to drive the #27 Ferrrari.