Atwood Looks Forward to Short Track Return LOUDON, N.H., (July 18, 2001) - For Casey Atwood, a trip to New Hampshire's one-mile oval may be a bit of a reprieve. In the past two months, this rookie, who prefers racing on shorter tracks, has faced...
Atwood Looks Forward to Short Track Return
LOUDON, N.H., (July 18, 2001) - For Casey Atwood, a trip to New Hampshire's one-mile oval may be a bit of a reprieve. In the past two months, this rookie, who prefers racing on shorter tracks, has faced the big speedways like Daytona and Michigan, and has made his first ever starts at tracks like Pocono, Sears Point and Chicagoland. But when Atwood visits Loudon for the Jiffy Lube 300, he'll be returning to a track that he knows and loves.
Atwood has raced competitively at the one-mile oval during his Busch Series career. His return to Loudon will be his first of his Winston Cup career and he hopes to continue to improve at the track in his Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T. With the help of team owner Ray Evernham, Atwood is looking forward to a strong run and his first top 10 finish of the season.
Casey Atwood, driver of the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T
What's your outlook on New Hampshire?
"We're bringing the same chassis that we ran at Homestead and got us 10th, (in 2000) and it's the same car that we raced at Richmond and finished 12th. We use it for the shorter tracks and we've had some pretty good runs there in it."
"I've raced at New Hampshire three or four times before, and I like it there. I feel more comfortable on the shorter tracks. In the Winston Cup Series I look forward to racing on tracks like this one because I feel like I don't need to learn as much to get used to them. But, I've had a chance to win at this track before in the Busch series so I'm really looking forward to going back."
What are your thoughts on last week's visit to Chicagoland Speedway?
"I thought the track was really nice. I had a really good time racing there. Since I only had the week to practice on it, I felt like I adjusted pretty well to it and would have had a pretty good run if it weren't for a blown tire. We started good, and we were just trying to make the right adjustments. I think if we wouldn't have cut a tire, we could have had a finish that was closer to the top 10."
Casey Atwood By the Numbers:
* This will be Atwood's first visit to the speedway with the Winston Cup Series, and his fourth visit there overall. He qualified second in his first visit to the track in 1998, as a Busch Series rookie. His last visit to the track came in 2000 when he qualified fifth and finished seventh in the Busch 200.
* Casey Atwood's best finish at New Hampshire took place in the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series 200 when he placed fifth.
* For the season, Atwood has been the top rookie qualifier four times (Texas, Martinsville, Pocono and Daytona) and the top rookie finisher twice (Bristol and Richmond). His best finish for the year was 12th at Richmond. He has moved to 34th in the points race and is third in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year battle. His average start is 22.3 and his average finish is 28.6.