Ward Burton Using Shootout as 500 Springboard

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 12, 2000) - Caterpillar Pontiac Grand Prix driver Ward Burton heads into Sunday's Bud Shootout looking for a win among the elite group of 1999 Bud Pole winners. But Burton, who qualified for the event by grabbing a...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 12, 2000) - Caterpillar Pontiac Grand Prix driver Ward Burton heads into Sunday's Bud Shootout looking for a win among the elite group of 1999 Bud Pole winners. But Burton, who qualified for the event by grabbing a pole at Michigan Speedway on Aug. 20, 1999, is not taking his eye off the bigger prize, which is a successful run in next Sunday's running of the Daytona 500.

THOUGHTS FROM WARD BURTON, NO. 22 CATERPILLAR PONTIAC GRAND PRIX...

...driving the Bud Shootout differently than the Daytona 500:

"You probably drive it a little bit differently, but you still can't do anything stupid. You might try a move in the Shootout that you wouldn't try in the 125s or the 500 because it's just not worth it because of the difference in the length of the race. The Bud Shootout is 25 laps. Whoever wins that race is still going to have to have a really good car to make sure that every move is a really good move. And then, the pit stop throws a whole new dimension into it. One lug nut hanging, or over-shooting your pits, or not leaving as quickly as you should - anything can change the outcome of the race when you come to the pits."

...using the Bud Shootout as a practice session for the Daytona 500:

"It's definitely a good practice for us. We'll try race set-ups in the race, but we also get the extra practices as well to try some things. It will give us some good information. And those practices and the race are also with really good cars, too, which helps get you ready. We'll be learning each and every time out there."

...forming drafting relationships for the Daytona 500 during the Bud Shootout:

"There are some guys that will seem to work with me more than others, and there are some guys that I'm more willing to work with than others. So, all that becomes a factor. Certainly, some cars that will make your car work a little bit better. But, more times than not, it's the personality of the guy that's in the car that's more important than the actual car."

...the effect the new shock rules will have on the difference between qualifying set-ups and race set-ups:

"When we were down here testing, all we did was change the front springs and a few other little things and we took this qualifying set-up right on the racetrack and drafter for 20 laps. The race package versus the qualifying package is definitely going to be closer than it was."

...the quiet strength of his team in restrictor plate races:

"Ever since I've been with Bill, we've always run in the top 10 almost every restrictor plate race. We haven't always finished there for various reasons, but the cars have predominantly been top 10 cars. I've never had a car that would lead very well. It just feels like it's pushing too much air. But this car here is acting like it's going to be the best one I've ever had."

...the emotional roller coaster of Speedweeks:

"You have plenty of opportunities to ride an emotional roller coaster of your emotions during the week. But, everybody's situation is different. Our support group is real strong and has a lot of depth to it because we've got a lot of key people with this 22 team."

...keeping the Daytona 500 in perspective as one of 34 points races:

"It's not going to ruin your season, but it can be real disappointing if you have a bad day. It's because of all the effort, and all the time, and all the interest put into the race. And, because it's such a big race. I mean, we've been talking about it for a month, and we're going to be talking about it again for another week before we actually do the race. But, when it's over, the feelings you get from it are pretty normal. You're either going to be really elated or somewhat down. But, hey, Monday morning you pick yourself up. We've got another race at Rockingham. It might not pay as good as this race, but it's just as important in our overall season."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton