Atwood and Sirius crew tune up for top performance in Talladega. Do you think the smaller fuel cells will break up the draft like they're hoping? "It's hard to say. I think they might just because people are going to have different pit stops...
Atwood and Sirius crew tune up for top performance in Talladega.
Do you think the smaller fuel cells will break up the draft like they're hoping?
"It's hard to say. I think they might just because people are going to have different pit stops times. If you're a second off on your pit stops you might loose the draft. There will be a lot more pit stops and the crews will have to stay focused a lot more. It will put a lot more pressure on the pit crews to have good pit stops all day because if you have just one bad one it could ruin your whole day with that. You'll still have the crew chiefs making deals to come in together under green. That won't change. You gotta have someone to come in with so that you can have a drafting partner when you come out of the pits."
Are you looking forward to returning to Talladega?
"I'm not very fond of the restrictor plate races. Forty-three cars running together like that for that long is kind of nerve-wracking. I've always run pretty good at them. I think I've always been a pretty decent drafter; I just always get caught up in the wrecks. If we can just keep the Sirius Dodge out of the wrecks, we'll be alright."
What is your outlook for this weekend?
"The last time we ran this car, we qualified 10th at Daytona. It's a fast car. Tony really helped our speedway program out I think. Last time at Talladega, we were running really well. We'd moved all the way to the front and then there was a big crash going into (turn) one and we got involved in that. I feel like we'll have a really strong car and we'll have a good qualifying spot."
Talladega Stats & Facts
* This is Atwood's fourth Winston Cup appearance at Talladega. After starting 16th here this spring, Atwood worked his way to the front of the field, reaching as high as third. He remained in the top-15 for the majority of the day before getting caught up in "the big one" on lap 163. He finished the race in 26th, just two laps down.
* During the fall race of 2001, Atwood started 26th and finished 39th after getting caught in an accident.
* Atwood has shown strong runs here in the past. In the spring race of 2001, after starting 21st, he ran second behind teammate Bill Elliott for several laps and ran in the top 15 for most of the first 100 laps. Atwood was forced below the yellow line by another car and was penalized 15 seconds under NASCAR rule. Atwood lost a lap and ended the day in 30th.
* Atwood competed in two Busch Grand National races at Talladega. He had his best start (7th) and his best finish (8th) in the 1999 Touchstone Energy 300, his first time at the track.
* Atwood won the Pepsi ARCA 200 from the pole at Pocono on Saturday, June 27. He drove the No. 19 Evernham Motorsports-owned Dodge Intrepid R/T as part of the team's research and development program. Atwood's former crew chief Sammy Johns led the team from the pit. This was Atwood's first ARCA start.
Who: Casey Atwood
When: Saturday, October 5 at 2:30 p.m. (immediately following the ARCA race)
Where: Sirius Satellite Radio Rhythm of the Road Tour Talladega Superspeedway