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Auction for cars, parts and motorhome begins Wednesday

Unable to compete in the current climate that is Nextel Cup racing, Cal Wells III has apparently decided to liquidate his operation. Sentman Auctions of Indiana, which specializes in racing auctions, will be auctioning off the assets of the No. 32 team beginning Wednesday at the shop in Hickory, N.C.

The machine shop equipment is scheduled to placed up for bid on the first day, to be followed by the fabrication shop items on Thursday and then main race shop and office equipment. Also on the block: a 2001 American Eagle motorcoach and fifth-wheel trailer.

"There's everything here from nuts to bolts to race cars to trailers," said Charlie Sentman, a former racer who has been auctioning off racing equipment for over 45 years. "There's a real nice motorhome.

"If you don't have a complete race team, you can complete it here, I guarantee you."

The auction flyer lists eight complete cars -- one superspeedway, four intermediate and three short-track versions -- plus a pair of show cars and a pit practice car. In addition, a dozen transmissions will be auctioned off.

"He's got a tremendous amount of property here for a one-car race team," Sentman said. "It's all absolutely in really good shape. It's been very well taken care of and there's a lot of it. There's a lot of shop stuff and lot of parts. Anybody who needs parts, it just goes on and on."

Sentman said he's had interest from all over the country in acquiring portions of the PPI operation, which he estimates at somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million in value.

"We've already have people here from as far away as California," Sentman said. "New York, Michigan, Nevada, Colorado. A guy just left here from New Orleans.

"It's hard to predict in an auction because people set the standard and set the price. This is an absolute sale, so if you're the last bidder, you have to pay for it and take it home."

Scott Pruett drove the No. 32 to a 19th-place finish in the 2000 Daytona 500, the debut race for the team. Ricky Craven took over driving duties the following year and posted both of the team's victories -- at Martinsville in 2001 and a stirring doorhandle-to-doorhandle battle with Kurt Busch at Darlington in 2003.

Craven was replaced by Bobby Hamilton Jr. near the end of the 2005 season, with Kvapil taking over in 2006. The team's last top 10 came at Infineon, when road-course expert Ron Fellows finished eighth.

Wells, a businessman who formerly owned off-road and Indy-car teams, shuttered his shop following the 2006 season when sponsor Tide decided not to renew its contract with the team. Driver Travis Kvapil returned to the Craftsman Truck Series and many of the crew wound up with Michael Waltrip Racing.

Wells is currently listed as the owner of the No. 00 Toyota, driven by David Reutimann.
 

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That's sad to see. Just another log on the fire that if you don't have a 3-5 car team you can't compete in Cup. I've always rooted for the underdogs and Wells was sure an underdog as an owner.
 

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He tried for years to get a second team and just couldn't get one. He had a few good years with Ricky Craven. I'll never forget the Martinsville and Darlington wins. But what did Wells in was the switch to Pontiac and the move to in-house engines. After JGR ditched Pontiac (after just winning a championship), you knew something was wrong with that brand. I think if Wells had gotten his second team, stayed with Ford and the Roush-Yates engines, things would be a lot different right now.
 

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every year since 2000 we have seen the wells showcar on our florida trip it was sad not to see them this year there where a good team that had the sponsors (#32 tide 2000- 2006 #96 McDonald's 2001 ) +the drivers but there just did not have the cars since the switch to the monte carlo to compete for the wins let alone run upfront a real shame too as the showcar guy said look for a tide toyota in 2007 too guess that went out the window with tide
 

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What a shame for Wells! Every year the local Kmart would have the #32 Tide showcar when the race would be at Pocano. The kids love seeing it!
 

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harley2001 said:
What a shame for Wells! Every year the local Kmart would have the #32 Tide showcar when the race would be at Pocano. The kids love seeing it!
I can agree. I was only a kid when i first saw that car at kmart here in mt pocono. I actually saw the mcdonalds car right here too. I even got to meet andy houston at the mcdonalds and got his autograph.
 
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