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Gilbertson to temporarily suspend racing operations
Plans to return to action at the Charlotte race in September

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Bob Gilbertson, owner/driver of the Tradicion Azul Tequila nitro Funny Car, announced that he will temporarily suspend his racing activities for a few months so he can devote all of his attention to his business, Truck Equipment Manufacturing Company (TEMCO).

"This is one of the toughest decisions I've ever had to make," said Gilbertson from his Charlotte office. "This is strictly a business decision. TEMCO is at a critical turning point and I've got to be at the tank plant everyday to oversee all the new contracts with TACOM/ARMY that we're bidding on so we can take TEMCO to the next level and make sure that the company continues to grow. With the downturn in the economy we've been struggling lately and I need to be on top of everything and regretfully the race team has to be parked for a while so I can concentrate on business."

"My goal is to hit 20 million in sales by the end of the this year and be able to go racing once again. It used to be that you could run one of these nitro cars with a million dollar budget but that's not the case anymore. Even though we have a great sponsor with Tradicion Azul Tequila the funding isn't enough to do it competitively and right now, with money being tight, I just can't jeopardize TEMCO to fuel my passion, driving a nitro Funny car. With the new business that we have secured with the Army and when the economy turns around to the plus we'll be able to get back on race track.

"We're in the process of renewing our contract with Tradicion Azul Tequila for the next three years and with their increased support as the product becomes available across the country we will be able to come out in the 4th quarter of 2008 just in time to mess with some of the big players in the points chase. It's no secret that these cars run on money and without marketing partners like Tradicion Azul who realize that their return on their investment in drag racing is a good deal, an independent team like ours is dead in the water. Everything will work out in the end and we'll see you out there in the fall."