CHARLOTTE RACE WEEKENDS.....THOUGHTS ON: *THE WINSTON...."This is a format I can understand, having come from the World of Outlaws where we run heats, a trophy dash, a 'B" Main and an 'A' Main. It's Saturday night racing at its best and we ...
CHARLOTTE RACE WEEKENDS.....THOUGHTS ON:
*THE WINSTON...."This is a format I can understand, having come from the World of Outlaws where we run heats, a trophy dash, a 'B" Main and an 'A' Main. It's Saturday night racing at its best and we probably don't do enough of this kind of thing over here with the stock cars. Of course, I can say that, not having had to actually be right in the middle of it with ten laps to go for all that money. Our trophy dashes with the sprint cars didn't pay near what somebody will get for this year's Winston. It's great for the fans. We're in The Winston Open but we had a good test and I hope we can get to the front and have a chance to transfer in."
*THE NEW DIRT TRACK AT LOWE'S MOTOR SPEEDWAY...."The commitment that Speedway Motorsports has made at their facilities with the new dirt tracks at Texas and Charlotte and the race next month at Bristol are one of the most significant developments the World of Outlaws have had in their history. I actually got a chance to drive our two-seat sprint car from our driving school on the track at Charlotte last week and it's going to be a lightning-fast track once the regulars get it worked in. What (WoO founder) Ted Johnson has needed to help grow the television and sponsor interest is a few more top facilities in larger race markets. I only wish I was going to be involved as a driver AND a car owner." (NOTE: Blaney owns the #93 Amoco sprint car driven by his younger brother Dale, the 1997 WoO Rookie-of-the-Year. The team currently ranks sixth in the points standings.)
*ON-TRACK EXPERIENCE AT CHARLOTTE...."My first trip to Charlotte in the Busch car (May, 98), I got to experience the qualifying race, made the field and then got swept up in an early wreck and finished last. Ever since, our fortunes have been at the other end of the spectrum. That fall, we won our first pole and set the track record and we qualified third and second last year for the two Busch races as we really began to get our qualifying and race packages together for the 1.5-mile tracks. We didn't race at the front in the Busch car at Charlotte but were always in the mix. I still believe our breakthrough in this first Winston Cup season will come at one of the mid-sized speedways like Charlotte. We had a good test so we're going back with a lot of notes and hopes for these weekends"
*THE 2000 SEASON SO FAR...."No one with our group is satisfied with the first third of this season. We have struggled much more than I thought we would. Some of that is due to my inexperience and we knew there would be some of that. I told (Crew Chief) Gil Martin at Richmond that some weekends it seems like I'm going to college with a kindergarten education. I had a long way to go as far as getting to where I could tell Gil and the guys what I needed under me. We made great progress during the two Busch years but the gap that's still there for me widens with the step-up to Winston Cup. Every driver -- with maybe the exception of Scott Pruett and Robbie Gordon -- is ahead of me on that curve. But we're gaining on it. What has not been good is the parts or systems failures we've had in three of the past four races. The #22 team is three points out of first place and we have the same stuff as they do. That shouldn't be happening and we're taking steps to make sure that stops."
***BILL DAVIS -- CHARLOTTE RACE WEEKENDS/THOUGHTS ON:
*DAVE BLANEY AND THE #93 AMOCO/SIEMENS TEAM IN 2000...."I knew the whole thing would be difficult with a rookie driver and a first-year team but the thing that's been most disappointing is the races lately where they've beaten themselves with what I see as avoidable mistakes...parts failures and miscues in the pits. We will improve in that area over the next few weeks. The problem with the way the first third of this season has gone for Dave is that I had hoped he could make as many competitive laps as he could and be ready to race in the second half. Just making laps riding around after repairs doesn't get that accomplished. Nothing I've seen so far, though, makes me think any less of Dave's future out here. He can do this. And he will."
*WARD BURTON AND THE #22 CATERPILLAR TEAM'S SECOND-PLACE RANKING...."Over the past two weeks, it's frankly been hard to think about racing at all, with the tragedies we've experienced. It's certainly not been a time for reflection on our good fortunes at Bill Davis Racing when we have really close friends that are hurting so. But we may not have approached our position any differently anyway. We're doing pretty much the same thing that we've done since we got to the Winston Cup Series -- just trying the get in a better position each week to score more points whether we're 20th or 5th. We're focused on that every time we go to the track. It's gratifying and rewarding to know that our work is paying off.
"The thing I like the most is that in all the things I read, no one has said a word about our chances on down the road. They talk about the points race shaping up between Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin. They talk about Earnhardt, Sr.'s chances for an eighth. They talk about when (Crew Chief) Robby (Loomis) and Jeff Gordon finally get their act together, that they'll be in the race. Everybody's got a shot apparently but us. Suits me. We're not taking ourselves very seriously either. It's May. We're just happy to be here right now. And we're not going to change a thing about what we're doing."
*NEW SHOP OPENING AND ON-GOING DODGE TRANSITION...."I've been saying we're going to moving into the new shop in two weeks for the last two months. This is the second large shop we've built from the ground up in the past five years. I know that getting the walls up is really the easy part. Getting the infrastructure...the last 5% things like the phone systems, computer lines,...take almost as much out of you as the big stuff. With all our work gearing up with Dodge development, we sure need to get the two Winston Cup teams moved and into their permanent space for a lot of reasons. And we will. But there's no point to not get the final aspects of a big project correct just because you got in a hurry to close the deal. We'll be in it real soon."
<pre> DAVE BLANEY -- 2000 WINSTON CUP SERIES RESULTS AMOCO ULTIMATE TEAM 93 -- BILL DAVIS RACING PONTIAC
EVENT(date) ST/FN Q.TIME/SPD. LAPS(LD) PTS./POS. EARNINGS STATUS
DAYTONA (2/20) 31/27 47.541/189.310 199-200 82/27th $89,625 ------- ROCKINGHAM (2/27) x-x 23.765/154.058 x-x 25/39th xx DNQ LAS VEGAS (3/5) 36/22 32.121/168.114 147-148 97/36th $56,675 ------- ATLANTA (3/12) 9/20 28.963/191.417 322-325 103/29th $45,220 ------- DARLINGTON (3/19) 15/26 28.874/170.312 290-293 85/31st $25,435 ------- BRISTOL (3/26) 26/35 15.400/124.597 457-500 58/33rd $26,765 wreck TEXAS (4/2) 24/22 28.584/188.917 331-334 97/30th $60,700 ------- MARTINSVILLE (4/9) 20/41 20.104/94.190 400-500 40/30th $21,525 handling TALLADEGA (4/16) 16/30 51.583/185.643 151-188 73/32nd $20,125 wreck CALIFORNIA (4/30) 17/38 38.779/185.668 236-250 49/32nd $35,525 ------- RICHMOND (5/6) 32/34 22.033/122.543 339-400 61/33rd $23,500 -------
2000 BUSCH SERIES RESULTS -- #20 AT&T PONTIAC CALIFORNIA (4/29) 28/18 40.726/176.791 149-150 109/38nd $17,950 ------- RICHMOND (5/5) 21/22 22.213/121.523 250-250 97/37th $8,535 -------
DAVE BLANEY -- CAREER BUSCH SERIES RESULTS (LOWE"S MOTOR SPEEDWAY) CHARLOTTE (5/23/98) 37/43 31.685/170.428 7-200 34/41st $6,222 wreck CHARLOTTE (10/3/98) 1/11 30.466/177.247 199-200 130/33th $16,450 ------- CHARLOTTE (5/29/99) 3/19 30.761/175.547 198-200 111/8th $11,525 ------- CHARLOTTE (10/9/99) 2/20 30.533/176.858 199/200 103/8th $12,980 -------