Dan Pardue Ready to chase Winston Open

PARDUS READY TO LET MIDWEST TRANSIT RACING EAGLE SOAR CONCORD, N.C. (May 19) -- Armed with a test-proven car and a new paint scheme, Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Dan Pardus is ready to chase his first Winston Open title. ...

PARDUS READY TO LET MIDWEST TRANSIT RACING EAGLE SOAR

CONCORD, N.C. (May 19) -- Armed with a test-proven car and a new paint scheme, Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Dan Pardus is ready to chase his first Winston Open title. ``We've got a lot of faith in the car,'' said Pardus, of his Midwest Transit Racing Chevrolet prepared by team manager Lake Speed and crew chief Jay Born. ``It drove good and didn't do anything weird during our test session. We didn't get a whole lot of speed out of the car, but we didn't spend a lot of time with that car. We're going back with the same setup we had on our primary car which ran really good during the test.'' The Monte Carlo Pardus will race Saturday night is actually his backup car for the Coca-Cola 600, scheduled May 30 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. During the team's two-day test session over the 1.5-mile course, the team concentrated their efforts on the primary car. ``We worked mainly on our primary car for the 600,'' said Pardus. ``The back up car for the Winston Open drove well. We put a new Hopkins snout on it. It's standard stuff that a lot of other teams are running. We're trying to standardize a lot of our cars. We're going back to basics. Some of the cars we had were a little different.'' The Midwest Transit Racing Chevy, owned by Hal Hicks and Mike Witters, will sport a new, red, white and blue look this weekend. The new design features a menacing eagle on the side of the car. Pardus, who is coming off hernia surgery, has a busy schedule this week. Not only will he run in the Winston Open Saturday, but he'll compete in the Winston Open Twin 25 qualifying races Friday and race an ARCA car this weekend. ``It's good for me as a driver because it keeps me focused on the race track,'' he said. ``Gives me a lot of time to think about what's happening on the race track. It's the best thing I can do as a driver. Physically, I'm in good shape, so it shouldn't bother me. The more track time you get as a rookie, the better you are.'' Pardus will be running for the Winston Open win. The Open winner transfers to The Winston. But the 35-year-old driver is also looking at this weekend as bonus track time to prep for the Coca-Cola 600. ``We want to get setup information for the Coca-Cola 600 weekend not only for the race but for qualifying,'' said Pardus. ``I also get seat time in the car for two days to better our effort for the following week and have a decent finish.'' ``I feel good about the car,'' he added. ``The team did well at the test. Jay is doing a good job for us. Lake is a great asset to our program. We're looking for an exciting weekend.''

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup