Atwood, Cope wait out weather, get in full day of testing at MIS. Three other teams opt not to stay for second day. BROOKLYN, Mich.-- Casey Atwood and Derrike Cope gambled on the weather and won, getting a full day of testing in at ...
Atwood, Cope wait out weather, get in full day of testing at MIS.
Three other teams opt not to stay for second day.
BROOKLYN, Mich.-- Casey Atwood and Derrike Cope gambled on the weather and won, getting a full day of testing in at Michigan International Speedway on Tuesday after rain wiped out Monday's session.
Five teams were on hand Monday-- including 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte, Stacy Compton, Larry Foyt, Atwood and Cope-- but only the latter two decided to stay after the storm washed out the whole day.
Tuesday, the drivers were greeted with relatively calm, warm conditions in which to test. Atwood, driver of the No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge, was particularly pleased to get some time on the track in the hopes of doing well in the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 on Father's Day, Sunday, June 16, at MIS.
"I think things went pretty good," said Atwood, who made a few qualifying runs in the 39.0-second (184.62 mph) range." It's unfortunate that the first day got rained out because we could've used both days, but we had a lot of good runs."
Last year, Atwood had similar bad luck during a test session when gusting winds hounded him throughout the day, forcing his team to scale back its efforts.
"I haven't had the best of luck testing here, but I'd much rather have rain than 50 mile-an-hour wind all day," Atwood said with a smile."Today was a perfect day, though, because the sun wasn't out too much and the track was relatively cool, so it was about as perfect as you can get."
Atwood's best finish at MIS was 10th in last year's Pepsi 400, won by fellow Dodge driver Sterling Marlin. He started sixth in that race, also a personal-best at MIS.
Cope, operating the No. 37 Sound Moves Ford, is looking to qualify for a NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at MIS for the first time since June 1999. He was similarly pleased with the session, during which he ran laps in the 38.8-second (185.57 mph) range.
"We got a lot of runs in, so now it's a decision as to which car is the most proficient," Cope said."We're fortunate that the weather moved north because we've got a lot riding on this. We're looking for a very good effort coming back here, and it could do a lot for morale."
Cope, the 1990 Daytona 500 winner, has a five-race package with Sound Moves and is looking to expand that to 14. The second race of the deal is the Sirius Satellite Radio 400 at MIS. His best year at MIS was 1989 when he finished ninth and sixth in the two NASCAR Winston Cup Series races, although he added an eighth-place finish in 1997.
"I've always loved this place," Cope said of MIS."Everyone loves coming here. I think we can run well here, and it's a good place to showcase our potential."