Dan Pardus Daytona Was only the First Chapter

PARDUS SAYS DAYTONA 500 WAS ONLY FIRST CHAPTER OF BOOK DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 16) -- Danny Pardus won't do the old soft-shoe about Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Pardus, who drives the No. 50 Midwest Transit Racing Chevrolet...

PARDUS SAYS DAYTONA 500 WAS ONLY FIRST CHAPTER OF BOOK

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 16) -- Danny Pardus won't do the old soft-shoe about Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.

Pardus, who drives the No. 50 Midwest Transit Racing Chevrolet in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition, said he and the team were disappointed they didn't compete in the season-opening Daytona 500.

"We wanted to get into that race in the worst way," said Pardus, who's campaigning for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors. "I can't tell you how hard it was to be on the sidelines watching that race. I wanted to be out there mixing it up with those other guys."

Pardus didn't get to run in the Daytona 500 because he was involved in a wreck -- not of his doing -- on the first lap of the first Twin 125-mile qualifying race held Feb. 11. With no owners' points for a provisional entry, Pardus was left on the sidelines for the $8.1 million race on Feb. 14.

"Two cars got together and it just caused a chain reaction, and there was nowhere to go," said Pardus, who never turned one complete lap over the 2.5-mile course. "It's just one of those bad deals. It's kind of unusual that happened on the first lap, especially in a Winston Cup race."

"We felt we had a really good race car to race our way into the Daytona 500. I was feeling really good about it, and then something like that happens. Unfortunately, I'm a victim of circumstance. But that's one of those racing things. I've just got to live with it and go on."

But Pardus compared the Winston Cup Series to a good book with interesting twists and turns in the plot. In this case the hero runs into some bad luck at the beginning of a long adventure.

"We've only read the first chapter," said the 35-year-old driver. "We've still got 33 chapters to go this season. It's time to turn the page to the next chapter."

When Midwest Transit Racing left Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 11, the team went straight to work on the Monte Carlo Pardus will drive Sunday at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, NC

Pardus is ready to show the racing world that this team is ready to compete in Winston Cup.

"I'm ready to rock and roll," said Pardus. "I can't wait to race at `The Rock.'

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Series NASCAR Cup