Daytona II: Chad Blount debut preview

Chad Blount to Make Cup Debut in ...

Chad Blount to Make Cup Debut in #37 Dodge

"Childhood Dream To Be Fulfilled"

July 1, 2004 (Mooresville, North Carolina) - Chad Blount will fulfill his childhood dream this weekend as he looks to make his NASCAR Nextel Cup Series debut at the "World Center of Racing" - the Daytona International Speedway. The Walkerton, Indiana native will pilot the #37 DODGE owned by John Carter and Roger Craven for the 46th running of the Pepsi 400 on Saturday night.

"I have worked literally my entire life for this opportunity and I look to make the most of it," said Blount. "I was contacted by the team a week or so ago about this ride and I went and met with them. I was impressed with that they had to say and they asked me if I thought I could do this - I quickly replied that I knew I could. The next thing I knew the ride was mine."

Blount is a fourth generation race car driver who grew up around the sport and turned wrenches for many years before his father, Bob, finally put him behind the wheel of a race car at the age of 16. Chad burst onto the scene in 2002 while competing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series for Braun Racing. He went on to post one of the most impressive rookie seasons in the history of that series - as he garnered 4 wins, 5 poles and 2 new track records (Atlanta and Chicagoland).

The last two seasons have seen the 24-year-old compete in the NASCAR Busch Series where he has made 20 starts with a career best 5th place finish at Texas last season. He has also spent much time serving as a test driver for Penske Racing.

The #37 DODGE team will be debuting at Daytona a newly acquired speedway car from Ganassi Racing along with a strong engine program from Ernie Elliott Engines. The car was prepared for the Daytona race out of the Braun Racing shop and will be led by crew chief Todd Lohse - who has worked with Chad previously in the Busch Series.

"I really think we have a solid program for this week," stated Chad. "We believe that the car is pretty close aerodynamically and Ernie Elliott always gives us strong horsepower. My first focus is to make sure that we qualify for the race on Saturday night and then to just keep our nose clean and complete all of the laps in the race. I have realistic expectations for this debut and want to make the most of it and earn the respect of these Cups guys."

Blount will be making his fourth career start at the 2.5-mile layout of Daytona. In his Busch Series debut last season he came home an impressive 11th in a Braun Racing DODGE. He also has two career starts at the track in the ARCA RE/MAX Series which netted him 4th and 7th place finishes.

Chad and the #37 team will also be competing next week at Chicagoland Speedway - less than 100 miles from his hometown in Walkerton, Indiana. The rest of the 2004 schedule for Blount and the team will be determined at a later date.

The Pepsi 400 is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. EST with LIVE coverage on FOX and radio coverage nationally on MRN and XM Satellite.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Chad Blount
Teams Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing