Stricklin Juiced About Upcoming Season, Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 14, 2002) - While rain washed out the first day of a three-day Winston Cup test at Daytona International Speedway, it didn't damped the spirits of Hut...
Stricklin Juiced About Upcoming Season, Daytona 500
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 14, 2002) - While rain washed out the first day of a three-day Winston Cup test at Daytona International Speedway, it didn't damped the spirits of Hut Stricklin.
For the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, the 41-year-old Stricklin, a native of Calera, Ala., will take the reigns of the No. 23 Hills Bros. Coffee Dodge fielded by Bill Davis Racing.
It'll be the first time Stricklin has driven a Dodge in his career, but more importantly, it'll be one of the best opportunities he has ever had in his racing career.
"I think it's a bigger difference for me coming to Bill Davis Racing than over anything else, regardless if it was a Dodge or any other make," said Stricklin, whose career best Winston Cup finish is second. "The team is so much better than any other team I've been with in quite some time.
"I'm ready to start this new year. Being with Bill and the whole group, I'm pumped and excited."
Stricklin, whose best finish at DIS came with a fourth-place run in the 1993 Daytona 500, has some good reasons to be optimistic about the 44th annual "Great American Race" on Feb. 17.
His teammate Ward Burton turned the fastest lap (184.961 mph) in the first wave of Winston Cup testing last week. He hopes to duplicate or even better that speed during this week's Winston Cup test session.
"I feel like we have as good a chance to win the race as anybody else," Stricklin said. "The 22 car tested early and ran really good. Both of our cars are prepared out of the same shop and the same people. That was a good sign. I was cheering Ward on because the better he does, the better it helps our whole team. I was glad to see him run as good as he did."
Winston Cup teams will take to the track on Tuesday at the Speedway and will have the opportunity to test on Thursday, which was reserved as the weather date.
The test session is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA. Tickets for Speedweeks 2002 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.