Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton is one to watch for during this weekend's race at Darlington. He currently sits third in the overall Winston Cup points standings and to date, the driver of the Bill Davis owned No 22 Dodge, has six top 10-finishes...
Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton is one to watch for during this weekend's race at Darlington. He currently sits third in the overall Winston Cup points standings and to date, the driver of the Bill Davis owned No 22 Dodge, has six top 10-finishes and two wins on the 1.366-mile track.
What is his key to success on the track too tough to tame?
"I've always liked that track, it's a challenge physically and mentally, both. You can have a really fast car but a lot of things that can happen to yourself and the car during the course of the race. You just have to really stay on your toes. The most important thing is you gotta have a great team to give you a great racecar."
Burton returned home the Tuesday after his Daytona 500 victory, he was on his way to Rockingham by Thursday with no time to think about his accomplishment. Burton says last week was the first time he finally realized the magnitude of his 500 win.
"I had to time to do my normal weekly thing," Burton said. The win not only helped him, but helped boost the entire team. "It's amazing the amount of energy that the media and the team members and sponsors, and everybody has just fed off of. It's been great for everybody who's helped us get to this point."
Burton's car owner Bill Davis has similar feelings.
"I think if our lives changed at all, it's just the fact that having the realization that we joined a very elite group of people. Not many car owners and not many drivers can say they won the Daytona 500, and we have."
Burton's crew chief Tommy Baldwin is also enjoying the win.
"It's an awesome feeling that we won that race, it's a huge thing. But, there's another one next year that we gotta get ready for. I'm pretty pumped up, I think it's definitely given us an edge this year to get off on the right foot."
Baldwin and Burton have always had a great relationship, long before their win at Daytona,
"I've been fortunate enough to be with Ward about four years now. I know all his moves, I know what's gonna happen when we show up at the racetrack, I know what's gonna happen come race day. The thing that is so good between me and him, is the trust factor. He knows I'm doing everything I possibly can to make that racecar go fast and be safe. And I know he's doing everything he possibly can to try to make that racecar run up front. I know that and the team knows that. That's the most important thing we got going on right now."