The #14 Milwaukee Electric Tool Race team went south to Daytona and Lakeland Florida this past week to prepare for the up coming NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. The team tested a new truck for Daytona and it proved to be a contender. The race truck unloaded off of the transporter "as good as any body else" stated driver Rick Crawford. Rick went on to say "a good truck off of the trailer is better than a fast truck off of the trailer because fast may mean that the truck does not conform to NASCAR rules". The team worked hard on fine tuning the truck and getting it ready for the season-opening Florida Dodge Dealers 250 at the Daytona International Speedway on February 16th.
After the first test, the Milwaukee Electric Tool team can felt good knowing that they left Daytona with the 6th quickest time and a race truck that is capable of winning. The truck teams achieved speeds in excess of 186 miles per hour, which is faster than some Winston Cup teams posted and that also included some of the same modifications that NASCAR has mandated for the Daytona race. The trucks will have a higher air dam on the nose and will carry a one-inch lip on their spoilers. "We learned a lot about this new package that we will be racing with next month. Is quite a bit different than last year when we had no restrictions. Our truck was very stable within the draft and that is going to be very important," Crawford also stated.
While in the area, the #14 team took advantage of a short track in Lakeland to test and work on their Marin and Martinsville where the team will be racing in the very near future. The Milwaukee Electric Tool race team also took advantage of their testing time to work on their pit stops. Carson Ford, rear tire changer, stated that "the team has worked hard on improving pit stop times and it will show during the races". Crew chief Ray Stonkus is very pleased with the testing at Lakeland and stated that "bubba they (other teams) better be doing their homework". While at Lakeland, the Circle Bar race team tested alongside Roush Racing and their two truck teams. All three teams worked on various setups and accomplished their goals. The #14 team switched to Roush engines in August of 2000 and will be running their engines again during the 2001 season.
Testing at Daytona and Lakeland went as well as can be expected. Now it is time to make the final preparations and get down to business. The Milwaukee Electric Tool team is fired up and ready to zap the competition this season and with all of the positive things going on with the #14 team, if you can't get excited about the 2001 season, you're not breathing.
-Circle Bar Racing