PARDON PARDUS FOR RUSHING THROUGH DAYTONA PADDOCK DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 2) -- Danny Pardus will be the busiest man in the Daytona International Speedway paddock and garage areas through Sunday, Feb. 7, as he prepares three stock cars for...
PARDON PARDUS FOR RUSHING THROUGH DAYTONA PADDOCK
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 2) -- Danny Pardus will be the busiest man in the Daytona International Speedway paddock and garage areas through Sunday, Feb. 7, as he prepares three stock cars for four races during Speedweeks '99.
Pardus will see triple duty through Sunday since he's running in the Bud Shootout Qualifier, the FirstPlus Financial ARCA 200 and prepping his primary NASCAR Winston Cup Series car for Bud Pole Qualifying.
"It's going to be a big benefit for me,'' said Pardus of his busy schedule. "It will build my confidence and help us with qualifying setups. The more laps I do will make both my race cars better race cars because I'll be able to give my crew chiefs John McQueen (Winston Cup) and Rick Wilson (ARCA) some pretty good feedback. The more you're out there on the track, the more you learn. The experience we get will help both efforts.''
The 35-year-old Daytona Beach driver, who's running for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in the Midwest Transit Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo, will get the jump on other Winston Cup competitors when he reports to the speedway on Wednesday for ARCA practice.
Pardus will run the Jim & Judie Motorsports Chevrolet, which has no affiliation with Midwest Transit Racing, in the ARCA 200 as a prep for his extensive Winston Cup duties through the Daytona 500, scheduled Sunday, Feb. 14.
He qualifies the ARCA car Thursday and runs the FirstPlus Financial 200 on Sunday. He's also running the Bud Shootout Qualifier Sunday, gaining entry after turning the fastest lap in second-round qualifying for the Pepsi 400 last October.
The winner of the Bud Qualifier transfers to the Bud Shootout, joining pole winners from the 1998 Winston Cup season. And, somewhere in his busy schedule this week, he'll find time to practice his Daytona 500 Chevy, the same one he raced in the Pepsi 400.
In the second segment of Speedweeks, Pardus will race in one of the Gatorade Twin 125-qualifying races on Thursday, Feb. 11, then it's on to the $8 million Daytona 500.
Pardus has had Feb. 7 circled on his calendar for almost four months in anticipation of running the Midwest Transit Racing Monte Carlo in the Bud Qualifier.
"It's kind of like a dog race they run over at the kennel club,'' said Pardus. "It's going to be 25 laps over a very quick race track. They open the box and BANG! You start running. You've got to drive hard, be aggressive but use your head.''
Midwest Transit Racing, owned by Hal Hicks and Mike Witters, tested their Daytona cars at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Friday, Jan. 29, and made strides with its superspeedway equipment.
"Since we only got one day on the track, we tested our Daytona 500 car the most, but the car we'll use in the Bud Qualifier is a good piece,'' said Pardus. "It's a good race car, it's just not quite as fast by itself in qualifying trim, as our Daytona 500 car. But we are hoping it drafts well.''