Ward Burton Has A Million Reasons To Win The Daytona 500

HIGH POINT, NC - Winning the Daytona 500 is one of the greatest accomplishments of a race car driver's career, second only to the championship title. For Ward Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Racing Pontiac, the victory would mean one of...

HIGH POINT, NC - Winning the Daytona 500 is one of the greatest accomplishments of a race car driver's career, second only to the championship title. For Ward Burton, driver of the No. 22 Caterpillar Racing Pontiac, the victory would mean one of the largest payouts in the history of the Daytona 500. Burton is eligible to collect $1 million from Winston's No-Bull 5 bonus program. The No-Bull 5 bonus program allows the top-five finishers from last year's Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway to be eligible for the payout. Each of the five drivers will also be paired with one of five race fans, who if their driver wins the Daytona 500, will also win $1 million. Burton was credited with a fourth-place finish on October 17, 1999 at Talladega Superspeedway. That top-five finish put Burton and his Caterpillar Racing Pontiac in contention for the Winston No-Bull 5 bonus program at the 2000 Daytona 500. Other qualified drivers are: Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd and Kenny Wallace. Burton and his Caterpillar Racing team are confident that they can collect that $1 million bonus along with the Daytona 500 trophy. Their confidence stems from a successful test session at Daytona International Speedway during the month of January. The Caterpillar Racing team posted the fastest time on the first day and was among the top-five speeds on the second day. "The test at Daytona went real well," said Burton. "We worked real hard on our qualifying set-ups and figured out the new rules. We feel like we have a good handle on the new rules. We also tried some motor stuff and that was real successful. Terry Elledge and his whole motor room produce great motors. "We think that we have a great piece of equipment for the Daytona 500. We're shooting for the front row, but if we don't make that we'll be ready for the Twin 125's on Thursday." The No. 22 Caterpillar Racing team broke into the upper echelon of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series after a strong 1999 season where they contended each week and finished ninth in the final point standings. Burton likes his chances heading into the 2000 Daytona 500. "We're carrying a lot of momentum into the 2000 season," added Burton. "Our restrictor plate program has really improved over the years. We also will have a teammate to help us out. It's real important to have a drafting partner at the superspeedways, so with Dave Blaney on board at Bill Davis Racing we're in good shape." The No. 22 Caterpillar Racing team was recognized as one of the most successful single-car teams in the business. Now, it's up to both Burton and Blaney to make Bill Davis Racing a successful two-car team. They're hoping it starts at the Daytona 500. "We're ready to make the move to the next level and what better way to do that than to start the year off with a win at the Daytona 500," said Tom Baldwin, crew chief for the No. 22 Caterpillar Racing team. "I think we're more prepared this year than we've ever been. We have all of the key people still in place. We have a teammate and we have great motors from Terry Elledge. "A lot goes into the Daytona 500. There is a lot of preparation for this one event and it would be real rewarding for us all to get that first win right out of the way. The No. 22 is definitely in position to contend for the win." The No. 22 Caterpillar Racing team likes it's chances for collecting the loot and the trophy.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Dale Jarrett , Kenny Wallace , Dave Blaney
Teams Bill Davis Racing