NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If he could have driven as fast as he talked, L.W Wright would be a NASCAR champion now.
But Wright, if that is his real name, left nothing in his tracks but worthless checks, question marks and red-faced NASCAR officials.
He talked NASCAR out of a license to race in the prestigious Winston 500 in Talladega, Ala. He talked Sterlin Martin of Columbia, Tenn., out of a $20,700 race car. He talked the press out of some publicity. Wright talked so much that people got suspicious, and when they did, he left.
'I knew something funny was going on,' said Marlin, who sold Wright a race car for $17,000 cash and accepted a check for the remaining $3,700. 'When the check came back, it really didn't surprise me. I sort of expected it.
'NASCAR has a warrant out for him on bad check charges and so does Goodyear and an auto parts company,' Marlin said Tuesday. 'He's left a lot of checks floating around.'
Wright first appeared in late April when a man who said he was William Dunaway of Hendersonville called a Nashville newspaper and said he was seeking publicity for a local driver named L.W. Wright who planned to enter the May 2 Winston 500.
Dunaway said Marlin had sold Wright a car to be sponsored by country singer T.G. Sheppard.
But the day after the story appeared about Wright, Sheppard claimed he had no connection with Wright and had not offered him a sponsorship.
'In fact, T.G. said he had never heard of the guy,' said Gary Baker, Sheppard's tax attorney.
Wright was confronted in person the following week at Talladega. He said the claim about Sheppard was 'premature' but insisted he was still working on sponsorships by other country music personalities.