"Realistically, we can run real competitive and even have a shot at winning the Daytona 500 with the new Dodge Intrepid. We had two good tests and we have a high level of confidence heading into Speedweeks." -- Ward Burton, No. 22 Caterpillar ...
"Realistically, we can run real competitive and even have a shot at
winning the Daytona 500 with the new Dodge Intrepid. We had two good
tests and we have a high level of confidence heading into Speedweeks."
-- Ward Burton, No. 22 Caterpillar Pontiac
"What an incredibly busy off-season it has been," said Burton. "We tested a lot with the new Dodge. Those tests included a test session at Daytona and then we followed that up with a test at Talladega to try some things we weren't able to try at Daytona. What we left those two tests with was a renewed confidence that we have a real good race car to work with. Todd Holbert, (Bill Davis Racing's lead engineer) and the motor room have done an outstanding job with the development of the new Dodge.
"I'm cautiously optimistic about how we'll run during Speedweeks, but I'd be surprised if we struggled a lot. We have high expectations beginning with the Daytona 500. This Bill Davis team wants to be the first at everything when it comes to Dodge's return. We want to be the first Dodge to sit on a pole, the first Dodge to win and naturally we want to be the first to win a championship for Dodge since Richard Petty did it in 1975. These are realistic goals for the No. 22 CAT team.
Baldwin shares Burton's Optimism
"When we tested the new Dodge at Daytona, we felt like we left there with more questions than answers and we felt it was necessary to test again at Talladega the following weekend," said Baldwin. "We had tried things at Daytona that usually worked with the Pontiacs that didn't work with the Dodge, so we needed to get answers to those questions. We showed some more improvements at Talladega with speed.
"We haven't drafted with the new Dodge yet, so we'll see how that goes when we get into race trim. We had to focus our Daytona test on gaining speed, so we never got the opportunity to draft with the other teams. We're not really worried about drafting. We don't really have any concerns heading into the Daytona 500. We feel like the motors are there, Terry (Elledge) feels confident and that means we're okay. I feel like we have just as good a shot at winning as anyone else does."