McSwain prepared for 20 race run

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Luck has been described as, "where preparation meets opportunity". Michael McSwain, crew chief for the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Taurus, after experiencing both sides of the luck spectrum, is anxious for some good luck and has...

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Luck has been described as, "where preparation meets opportunity". Michael McSwain, crew chief for the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Taurus, after experiencing both sides of the luck spectrum, is anxious for some good luck and has decided to take no chances with his team's preparation.

This preparation is critical because on July 7 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series begins a stretch of 20-consecutive races leading to its conclusion in November. After twenty races on 19 tracks in 16 states a championship will be decided -- with preparation, luck, planning and morale being key factors in that decision.

With that coveted trophy in mind, McSwain is busy trying to do everything he can -- including having cars that are ready to race, a shop full of hard working men, an enthusiastic pit crew, an excellent driver and a thorough testing schedule -- for what he hopes will be a championship run.

"I'm trying to cover all of the bases, and my team's work ethic helps tremendously because every member of this team is doing what they need to be doing," McSwain said.

"We've got 19 cars sitting here all very close to ready so it's obvious the guys here at the shop have done a fabulous job," McSwain said. "On top of that, our guys at the track are working hard and that shows because we have fast cars at nearly every track we go to; our pit crew shows determination and enthusiasm every week and they are as good as anyone out there right now.

"And I couldn't ask for a better driver in our points situation. Ricky is a great points racer. He is very consistent, never takes himself out of races and since the team knows Ricky will fight to the end, they put forth their best effort when working on our car in order to develop strong runs late in races when it really counts."

McSwain and company are not only prepared as far as cars go, but they also have saved some important test sessions for the second half of the season.

"We have four tests left. We know we're testing at Indianapolis because that's such an important race for us. We're still figuring out which tracks will be most advantageous to us for the remaining three tests

The season thus far is definitely looking bright with the Texaco/Havoline team as they are third in the series point standings, 145 points behind leader Jeff Gordon. Ricky Rudd scored his first win of the season on June 17 at Pocono (Pa.) and has finished in the top-10 in seven consecutive races. Thanks to their record this season, the team has reason to look forward to the upcoming stretch.

If luck is indeed "where preparation and opportunity meet," McSwain has what it takes to produce a championship trophy for the No. 28 team -- given the opportunity.

-THR

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon