UPDATED (12:59 pm ET): The pickup truck that towed the trailer containing Team Xtreme’s stolen race car has been found and a potential person of interest has been identified, NASCAR Talk has learned.
Morrow (Ga.) Police detective Sgt. Larry Oglesby told NASCAR Talk that the truck was discovered Saturday morning in Stockbridge, Ga., which is located just a few miles southeast of Morrow.
“The truck was on a main road, the doors were locked on the vehicle, the driver’s side window was busted, and the ignition seemed to be busted as well,” Oglesby said. “The keys were not with the vehicle, which was towed to a facility in Henry County.
“The vehicle was located by a citizen just driving by, and they called (police) and said there’s a vehicle out here that matches the description of what they saw on TV. (Henry County Sheriff’s deputies) got there, ran the tags that were still on the vehicle, and it came back stolen out of our city.”
Still missing are the trailer that contained the race car, which was recovered earlier Saturday morning. It was believed to contain a spare race engine, assorted parts and tools.
“We haven’t located the trailer yet,” Oglesby said. “It’s still out there.”
But Oglesby does have at least one person of interest that he’s attempting to locate.
“I’ve got leads,” Oglesby said. “I made contact with someone that contacted another department that contacted me. I’m working that lead. I have a person of interest. I think I know who I’m looking for.”
Travis Kvapil, who was slated to race the No. 44 on Sunday before it was stolen, tweeted that recovered race car has been returned to the team’s shop in Mooresville, N.C.
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The stolen Team Xtreme NASCAR Sprint Cup car has been recovered.
“The car was recovered this morning in Gwinnett County (Ga.), it is in our possession and is on the way back to the shop in Mooresville (N.C.),” team spokesperson Amanda Ebersole told NASCAR Talk.
The Chevrolet SS race car, along with a pickup truck and trailer hauling the race car, was stolen early Friday morning from a Morrow, Ga., hotel parking lot. It was recovered by Gwinnett County Sheriff’s deputies early Saturday morning, shortly before 5 am ET.
“(Police) found it after a tip sent them over that way,” Ebersole said.
The race car was found “dumped” on Lenora Road in Loganville, Ga., about 45 miles northeast of Morrow and due east of Atlanta.
“The only thing that was recovered was the car,” Ebersole said. “Everything else, meaning the trailer, truck and the equipment inside, is still missing. There have been no arrests at this point.”
The car, which Travis Kvapil was slated to drive this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, was apparently discovered without any damage sustained, according to another tweet.
Team officials, who were forced to withdraw from the race as a result of the car’s theft, have already returned to the team’s home base in Mooresville, N.C., and are awaiting the return of the race car later today.
Once it returns to the shop, the car will be given a complete examination. If everything checks out, the team will begin preparing to leave in the next few days for next Sunday’s Sprint Cup race in Las Vegas.
“The plan is we are going to Las Vegas,” Ebersole said.