Dan Pardus To have Patriotic Paint Scheme for Winston Open

Special paint schemes have become a tradition in The Winston, the All-Star event of the Winston Cup Series, which will be held on May 22 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Hal Hicks and Mike Witters, owners of the No. 50 ...

Special paint schemes have become a tradition in The Winston, the All-Star event of the Winston Cup Series, which will be held on May 22 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Hal Hicks and Mike Witters, owners of the No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet driven by Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Dan Pardus, will join in on the fun. Hicks and Witters have order a special red, white and blue paint scheme on the No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet in the Winston Open, a 50-lap race prior to the Winston All-Star race composed of drivers and teams not otherwise eligible for the main event. Only the winner of the Winston Open transfers to the Winston All-Star race. The patriotic paint scheme, which will include an eagle and red stripes on each side of the car, is in honor of Midwest Transit's trucks, which log approximately 150,000 miles per day primarily hauling mail for the United States Postal Service. Midwest Transit, based in Mount Carmel, Ill., employees 650 and has ``tomorrow's mail today.'' Hicks wanted to try something different on the car for the Winston Open and Pardus doesn't mind the change. ``Sometimes you get in the race car, the paint job brings a lot of spirit out of the race car,'' said Pardus, a native of Daytona Beach. ``Sometimes I've just changed the colors on a race car and have had a totally different outlook on the car. The paint job were looking at is really wild and gives the car a real fast type of look. Hopefully our car will live up to that reputation.'' Pardus says the Winston Open will give the team some valuable information that they can transfer to the May 30 Coca-Cola 600, also at Lowe's Motor Speedway. ``You can never get enough time on a race track and the more track time I can get will be definitely better for me as a driver and as a team,'' Pardus said. ``It's definitely a big plus for our team.'' The Winston Open will be the one of possibly three races for Pardus on May 22. If Pardus pulls off the upset and wins the Winston Open, he will advance to the Winston All-Star race. Pardus also plans to compete in the ARCA race prior to the Winston Open in the No. 42 Jim and Judie Motorsports Chevrolet. The Midwest Transit team will test at Lowe's Motor Speedway at Charlotte on Wednesday and Thursday. The team, under the direction of general manager Lake Speed, will shake down two Chevrolet Monte Carlos. The primary car for the test session is a Hendrick Motorsports research and development Chevrolet that Midwest Transit purchased about two months ago. The backup car was purchased from Sabco Racing. ``We really haven't tested the Hendrick car that much,'' Pardus said. ``We ran it at Atlanta and it was very comfortable and we were fast in the car.'' Crew chief Jay Born has hopes for the Hendrick research and development Chevrolet and is hoping to run the car in the Coca-Cola 600. ``We feel that the Hendrick car will be the better of the two cars. There's a lot of hope there,'' Born said. ``We are taking that car and we intend to maximize that car and take it to its fullest potential.'' TEAM NOTES: Crew chief Jay Born says the team continues to work on pit stops and have made considerable improvement. ``We're 18.4,'' Born said. "We're pretty consistent in the low 19 seconds. We're progressing rapidly. We're getting there. That's real numbers, not TV numbers.''

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Teams Hendrick Motorsports