Ultra Motorsports Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge take aim at Daytona. DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Feb. 10, 2003) - The Ultra Motorsports Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team is hoping for a very special Valentine's Day gift this Friday....
Ultra Motorsports Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge take aim at Daytona.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Feb. 10, 2003) - The Ultra Motorsports Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team is hoping for a very special Valentine's Day gift this Friday. The relationship between Ultra's #2 NCTS team and Daytona International Speedway's 2.5-mile tri-oval began as love at first sight in 2000 as former Team ASE/CARQUEST driver Mike Wallace captured the checkered flag in the inaugural NCTS event at Daytona in dramatic fashion. Several members of the Ultra team remain from that race including Ultra NCTS General Manager Tim Kohuth who served as crew chief for Wallace that day.
"I have always enjoyed racing at Daytona." Kohuth said. "No matter what kind of race you win at Daytona whether its Winston Cup, Busch, Goody's Dash or the Craftsman Truck series the whole racing world takes notice. If you win a card game at Daytona you have done something good."
It is not like the Ultra team will spend any time reminiscing about the good old days during preparation for this year's rendition of the Dodge Dealer's 250. Driver Jason Leffler and crew are zeroed in on the task at hand, doing their best to help Ultra Motorsports make a return trip to Victory Lane at Daytona.
"We are focused on what we need to accomplish and that is doing everything we can to win this year's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event," Leffler stated. "I am anxious yet excited to get the season started."
Daytona International Speedway remains a very special place for any NASCAR competitor and the NCTS teams are no exception. Winning a race anywhere is an accomplishment, but winning at Daytona holds extraordinary significance. Longtime NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Buddy Barnes, recently named crew chief of the Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge, has made the annual pilgrimage south to Daytona for over 20 years.
"Coming to Daytona to start the season has always been a great way to kick things off," Barnes said "If you can win the race or run competitively then you have really accomplished something. You have the whole off-season to prepare so there is a lot of anticipation as well as great expectations from the team, the driver and everyone involved." Not only does the Dodge Dealer's 250 hold the charm of winning at Daytona but it would also serve as a catapult for a successful run at the NCTS championship, a point Leffler understands very well.
"Daytona sets the tone for the rest of the year, Leffler said. "If you can run well and have a top five finish it puts you in a great position." A good run pumps up the whole crew and they just work that much harder for the rest of the year."
The Dodge Dealer's 250 NCTS race at Daytona International Speedway will be televised live by the Speed Channel and broadcast by MRN Radio at 1 pm Friday, February 14.