Las Vegas Dodge weekend preview

LAS VEGAS, March 1, 2001 - The UAW DaimlerChrysler 400, third event of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, takes place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. The Dodge team will try to build on the success it enjoyed in the first two races of the...

LAS VEGAS, March 1, 2001 - The UAW DaimlerChrysler 400, third event of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, takes place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

The Dodge team will try to build on the success it enjoyed in the first two races of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series season. So far, Dodge has five top-10 finishes, a driver who is second in the championship standings (Sterling Marlin) and another with the most points for the Rookie of the Year Award (Casey Atwood).

The Dodge drivers and their crews will have their work cut out for them because they'll find themselves wheeling and dealing with yet another type of racetrack this weekend. Las Vegas Motor Speedway - the venue for the UAW DaimlerChrysler 400 - is a 1.5-mile track. That's shorter than Daytona at 2.5 miles, and longer than Rockingham at 1.017 miles, but it is clearly the flattest track of the three. Daytona has banking of 31 degrees, and Rockingham a little less with 22. Las Vegas is a relatively flat 12 degrees.

The drivers and Dodge engineers are confident they'll do well. Their reasoning? Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one of the tracks the Dodge team used for off-season testing while developing the Dodge Intrepid R/T race car, and they also used Kentucky Speedway for a lot of testing and the new track is similar to Las Vegas.

"Las Vegas will be a good test for Dodge to see where we stand with the body, engine, downforce and balance," says Dave Blaney, driver of the No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T. "All of those things will show up at Las Vegas. This will be the first real good test for the downforce cars."

One Dodge driver who knows his way around the speedway in Las Vegas is Stacy Compton, driver of the No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T. Compton set the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying record at Las Vegas, driving his Dodge Ram truck at a one-lap speed of 161.803 miles per hour on November 23, 1999.

- Dodge Motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Casey Atwood , Stacy Compton , Dave Blaney