Daytona 500: Dodge teams "keys for success"

Keys to Success: Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 14, 2009) -- Each race weekend, random Dodge Motorsports crew chiefs, drivers, engine specialists and team members give their insight on the 'keys to success' for the upcoming race. This ...

Keys to Success: Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 14, 2009) -- Each race weekend, random Dodge Motorsports crew chiefs, drivers, engine specialists and team members give their insight on the 'keys to success' for the upcoming race. This week, the green flag drops at the 'World Center of Racing' -- the 2.5-mile oval of Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500.

Trivia Question: How many Daytona 500s did NOT total 500 miles? (Answer Below)

Pat Tryson (Crew Chief, No. 2 Miller Lite Charger) "A major key to the race is getting your car to handle the transition from day to night. The cars pick up speed as the track goes to night time which makes your car handle a little different. What's good in the daytime isn't necessarily what you want at the end of the race, so you have to decide which one of those (race setups) is more important to you. At the same time, you have to be able to stay on the lead lap. For our Miller Lite Dodge, we kind of gear our car towards handling properly at the end of the race so that we can get the best finish. But you have to be able to survive the early part (of the race) and stay on the lead lap so that you are in a position to compete at the end. It's a very fine edge that you walk. You're constantly processing information while watching how your car is working. What you chase on your car early doesn't represent how it will react later."

Answer to Trivia Question: Seven. The 1965 (322.5 miles), 1966 (495 miles) and 2003 (272.5 miles) were shortened because of rain. The 1974 race was scheduled for 450 miles (180 laps) or 90% distance in response to the energy crisis; scoring began on lap 20. The 2005 (507.5 miles) 2006 (507.5 miles) (203 laps) and 2007 races were lengthened because of green-white-checker finish rule.

-credit: dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup