CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T) NOTE AND CORRECTION: Atwood posted the second fastest speed in Friday afternoon's Budweiser Shootout practice session. Atwood practiced for 25 laps with a fast lap of 186.451 mph. Correcting Dodge...
CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T)
NOTE AND CORRECTION: Atwood posted the second fastest speed in Friday afternoon's Budweiser Shootout practice session. Atwood practiced for 25 laps with a fast lap of 186.451 mph. Correcting Dodge chassis notes distributed earlier, Atwood, not Jeremy Mayfield, will drive the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T in Sunday's Budweiser Shootout.
"I feel really good about it. We were able to go out there and get some practice with the new aero package. I feel pretty comfortable with this aero package because it's the same thing we had in the Busch Series. We were able to get up there and lead the draft and everything is looking pretty good so far. I was around just about everybody at one time. Me and Sterling were together awhile, and me and Dale Jr. drafted real good together. We'll get out there tomorrow and try to figure out who we're best around.
"This isn't going to hurt a bit. I think it'll help. It gives me a chance to run this aero package. At the same time, it's going to help 21 other drivers. I feel real comfortable with this package. We'll get in 70 laps of racing on Sunday, and hopefully, that'll prepare us even better for the Daytona 500.
"It's a full 19 team deal. We got the pole as a team last year (at Phoenix) so Ray (car owner Evernham) wanted to put me back in that car and have the same team pit it in the Shootout.
"We're struggling a little bit with the 7 car right now. We came down here and tested well. We came back down here and we've lost something and haven't been able to find it yet. They're working hard changing motors right now, so hopefully that will pick us up.
"I don't see how we've got much of an excuse anymore. Last year everything was new with the Dodge and it was difficult at first, but the second half of the season we were able to come back and run well. We learned a lot at the end of the season and had a chance to win a couple of races. I think we're prepared.
"I like drafting, but I'd rather be racing somewhere else where you had to push the brake and slow down and have to accelerate back up. That's what I like to do, but you only have to do this four times a year, so it's OK."