Young Team Experiences Winston Cup Growing Pains

YOUNG TEAM EXPERIENCES WINSTON CUP GROWING PAINS DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Jan 21) -- MidWest Transit Racing Participated in the General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway Jan. 19-20 and experienced it's ...

YOUNG TEAM EXPERIENCES WINSTON CUP GROWING PAINS

DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Jan 21) -- MidWest Transit Racing Participated in the General Motors NASCAR Winston Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway Jan. 19-20 and experienced it's first bout of growing pains.

Driver Danny Pardus, who'll campaign for Rookie of the Year honors in the Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo, posted the 32nd-fastest lap in the second day of testing over the 2.5-mile, high-banked tri-oval. Pardus turned a lap of 188.320 mph.

But no one with the new team, which is based in Daytona Beach, FL, was pushing the panic button.

"We're building a new team here," said Pardus, who grew up 10 minutes from the big track. "We've got all new guys onboard. There's only two or three of them that have been with us any length of time. And this was the first test session where we were using two cars."

"We're not disappointed with the test session," he added. "It was, after all, a test session. We learned a lot of things about the car, and we know there's a lot of potential left in this Monte Carlo. When we come back here in February for Speedweeks, we'll have a real competitive piece of racing equipment."

It was the team's first, full-scale, "field trial." The team wasn't only learning about it's stock cars, they were learning to work together for the first time at a race track. Crew chief John McQueen liked what he saw as far as teamwork with this bunch that's been pieced together during the offseason.

"We made more gains with the team than we did with the car," said McQueen, who has assembled a talented group of mechanics and engineers for MidWest Transit's racing efforts this season.

MidWest Transit Racing, the only Winston Cup team located in Daytona Beach, hopes to better it's qualifying performance of the Oct. 17 Pepsi 400. Pardus was the fastest second-round qualifier in his first and only Winston Cup event and started 26th.

If you discard laps drivers took in their secondary cars -- all laps were counted on the Daytona test days speed chart -- Pardus posted the 26th fastest lap on Jan. 20. The team knows it's in the hunt for Daytona 500 qualifying, scheduled Feb. 6 at Daytona International Speedway.

"I know we can do better than that in February, " said Pardus.  "We've got
the equipment and crew chief who can get us there.  We've just got to put
all the right things in place.  We just haven't got there quite yet."

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup