Hampton, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Team Xtreme Racing confirmed on Saturday morning that police have recovered its Sprint Cup Series race car that was stolen from a hotel parking lot in Morrow, Georgia.
According to Team Xtreme, Gwinnett County police found the car -- the No. 44 Chevrolet -- dumped on a rural road in Snellville, Georgia, which is located about 20 miles northeast of Atlanta. The car, valued at $250,000, was undamaged.
Team Xtreme posted on Twitter a photo of team owner John Cohen standing in front of the No. 44 car. "So Happy to have 'old faithful' back. Favorite race car," the team tweeted.
The race car, along with a black Ford F-350 pickup truck and a white trailer, were taken on Friday morning. Surveillance video from the Drury Inn in Morrow showed the theft occurring in the parking lot at 5:32 a.m. ET. A police reported noted that a silver or gray Jeep Cherokee was spotted leaving the hotel at the time of the theft. The location of the hotel is roughly 20 miles north of Atlanta Motor Speedway, where all three of NASCAR's national touring series are competing this weekend.
Morrow Police Detective Sgt. Larry Oglesby led the investigation of the stolen race car. Oglesby told USA Today Sports on Friday, "Sometimes what happens when thieves see trailers, they might just assume there's something in the trailer they can go off and sell. Sometimes when things like this occur, they will drop off the items in a parking lot somewhere -- like a Walmart parking lot -- once they realize what they have. They'll open it up and say, 'Oh, my God, this is not what we thought it was. Let's get out of here.' And they'll take off and leave it sitting there."
Travis Kvapil, running a limited schedule in Sprint Cup this season, was scheduled to drive the No. 44 car at Atlanta. Team Xtreme did not have another car available and therefore had to withdrawal its entry in Sunday's 500-mile Sprint Cup race.
The team does plan to compete in next weekend's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.