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Friday, October 11, 2002
Former QB joins Cicci's Busch effort

Associated Press

CONCORD, N.C. -- Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly has a football-driven message for Busch Series team owner and new partner Frank Cicci: "Just win, baby."

Kelly is joining a long list of NFL coaches and players who have been involved in auto racing, including Joe Gibbs, Jerry Glanville, Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, Mark Rypien, Joe Montana and Joe Washington.

Jim Kelly
NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly will help Frank Cicci find a sponsor for his Busch team.

"The reason we picked Frank from so many teams that talked to me was his track record and, sitting down talking to him, just the excitement he brings to the sport," said Kelly, who guided the Buffalo Bills to four Super Bowls.

So far, the new team has a 10,000-square foot race shop in Mooresville, N.C., but no driver, crew chief or crew.

The first order of business, though, is signing a primary sponsor to help pay for the operation. That's where Kelly comes in.

"These days you have to do things a little differently,'' said Cicci, who has owned or been a co-owner of Busch teams for 17 years. "We have brought Jim Kelly in as a partner to offer his services to a sponsor and help promote their product. The sponsors are out there."

Kelly said he has no doubt the team will be ready to go by the time the 2003 season begins in February at the Daytona 500.

Kelly said being involved in the Busch team will also give him another platform from which to generate support for the Hunter's Hope Foundation, established by Kelly and his wife, Jill, in honor of their 5-year-old son, Hunter, diagnosed shortly after birth with Krabbe Disease.

Kelly said Friday he'd like to persuade Bradshaw -- co-owner of a Busch team -- into giving up car No. 12. Both quarterbacks wore that number in the NFL